By Victor Kanayo
Nigeria’s representatives at the 2022 World School Basketball Championships – Bishop Dimieari Grammar School and St Jude’s Girls Secondary School Amarata both in Bayelsa State, South-South Nigeria, have defeated Hungary and Turkey in the ongoing competition.
It was the boys’ team of Bishop Dimieari Grammar School that took to the court earlier but they did not start well against the experienced Hungarian side.
It was the Hungarian team that led from the first and second quarters while taking the dominant lead to the third quarter with 15points gap. But the third quarter became the turning point for the Nigerian side as they reduced the lead to seven points at the end of the third quarter.
The final quarter brought out the best in the Nigerian boys as they raced to the lead from the start to overtake their opponent and took charge of the encounter to win the last quarter by 15points gap to end the match at 59-52.
Dickson Bumam was the standout player after scoring 14 with one assist, John Wilberforce added a double digit score with 14 as well, while Favour Kpee scored 11.
In the girls’ match, the St Jude’s Girls Secondary School team led by Hembam Wandoo showed their class against their Turkish counterpart.
The Nigerian girls were not intimidated by the physicality of their Turkish girls, as they dictated the pace of the game from the first to the fourth quarters.
Despite leading in most of the quarters, the Turkish girls came out stronger in the third quarter, but their comeback was thwarted by the Nigerian girls to end the tie at 48-37.
This is the first time Nigeria will be competing in the championship as one of the two African teams alongside Libya battling teams from 19 other nations including Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Nepal, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Chinese Taipei, and Turkey.
The Nigerian sides will compete in the boys and girls events organised by the International School Sports Federation (ISF) and hosted by the Serbian School Sport Federation.