A late bust of experience from Oyo State ensured they beat Kano Pillars 37-31 in the final of the 5th Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei International Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at the Sir Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
The Oluyole Boys led by floor marshal, Strasbourg based Lukmon Ibrahim had it tough on their way to the trophy with 13 different lead changes and the game tied 9 times. Only relying on Lukmon’s experience in the last two minutes to outclass the youthful Kano Pillars side who were making their debut at the tournament.
Patron of the Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation and sponsor of the tournament Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei a former Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly showered praises on the players for raising the level of game this year.
“I am really impressed with the level of competitiveness amongst the teams in this year’s championship and I must say wheelchair basketball will soon be the toast of special athletes and the Paralympics committee in Nigeria”.
He also reiterated his commitment towards the continued sponsorship of the competition which according to him is dear to his heart.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Barr. Yomi Oke who was on hand to witness his team’s triumph over Kano Pillars eulogised the team and rewarded them with a cash bonus of N100,000 for their effort.
“Our team showed the warrior spirit to win the tough match against Kano. We are going to do more to support special athletes and special sports in the state.”
Ghana took the bronze medal with a 25-12 points victory over Lagos in the third place for male, while Delta won their third straight title in the women’s division with a 7-2 win over Edo. Imo won the third place playoffs with a 4-2 victory over visiting Ghana.
President, NWBF, Bukola Olopade in his remark, expressed appreciation to the sponsor and called on the ministry of sport to do more for the wheelchair basketball. He said the federation has striving hard to making the country proud and called for more support from individuals and corporate bodies.