International School, University of Lagos and St. Judes Girls Secondary School, Amarata Bayelsa State on Saturday emerged winners of the 15th Nestle Milo Secondary School Basketball Championships, held in Lagos.
International School (ISL), reached their first ever finals since the inception of the competition, defeating St. Joseph Secondary School, Makurdi, Benue state 56-47 in a closely contested final match. ISL trailed with as much as 8 points with about 4 minutes left on the clock in the final quarter of the match, before a masterful performance of share will and determination saw them overturn the deficit and take stronghold of the contest. Similarly, St. Judes Girls, defended the title they won last year, defeating Government Secondary School, Gboko, Benue State 26-18 in outstanding fashion, dominating the Benue girls from the blast of the whistle.
In the electric atmosphere of the National Stadium Lagos, Coach of International School, University of Lagos Ernest Ijeoma said after their momentous victory that the team worked hard to achieve the feat. We were not given a chance to go far in the competition, we qualified for the National finals as a wild card, having lost out in the western conference finals. We are proud and over-joyed for winning this competition it means a lot to us, Ijeoma said.
Boluwasope Faniran of International School University of Lagos won the most valuable player Award for boys and medals with the rest of the team, as well as the Nestle trophy, N150, 000 cash; Adidas sports shoes, Milo products and a trip to the U.S. for a competition. Runners up St. Josephs Secondary School, Makurdi, Benue received N120, 000 cash, sports shoes and a trip to the U.K. for their effort. Government Secondary School Minna, Niger came third in the competition, defeating the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, International School, 51-36. The Niger boys received N100, 000 cash Adidas sports shoes, Milo products and a trip to the Dubai for a competition.
On the female end St. Judes Girls Secondary School, Bayelsa received the winners’ medals, the Nestle trophy and Adidas sports shoes for each player in the team plus a cash reward of N150, 000 and a trip to the U.S. later in the year. And team captain Bridget Dibiya also went home with the most valuable player award for girls.
Coach of St. Judes Girls Secondary School, Bayelsa Nelson Torunarigha said that his team performed excellently. It has being a wonderful tournament for us from the state preliminaries to the conference finals and the grand final. Our victory in all the stages means so much to us and most especially, to grassroots sports in the state, I applaud my players and salute their courage, Torunarigha said.
Government Secondary School Gboko, Benue received medals, a cash gift of N120, 000 and Adidas sports shoes and a trip to the UK for coming 2nd. And Yejide Girls Grammar School, Ibadan, Oyo State came 3rd defeating Government Day Girls Secondary School, Samaru in Zamfara, 24-23 in the 3rd Place Playoff. The Ibadan girls went home with N100, 000 and an invitation to a tournament in South Africa later in the year.