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Mark ‘D’ Ball: No room for complacency, says Mo’ Heat boss

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The Proprietor of Mo’ Heat basketball club, Mohammed Shehu, has warned the players not to be complacent, in spite of their achievements so far in the Mark ‘D’ Ball basketball championship in Abuja.

Our correspondent reports that Mo’ Heat thrashed Delta Force 66-46 in their second game on Thursday to maintain their 100 per cent win record in the championship.

This was after they outdunked FCT Hardrockers 79-52 in their opening game on Wednesday.

Mo’ Heat, an Abuja-based clubside, are yet to lose a single game in the championship having gone a total of 18 games unbeaten so far since the start of the tournament on Feb. 6.

In spite of the team’s achievements, Shehu emphasised on the importance of winning every single match and not be complacent about their opponents.

He stressed the importance of maintaining the winning momentum and asked his team not to lower its guard or under-rate its opponents.

“We are not going to be complacent. We are just going to remain focused and play our game. We have to realise we are just one of the eight teams (competing for the title),” the chairman said.

“Our first game was a bit scrappy even though we won but we are looking at all the teams as potential champions.

“I must, however, commend our Coach Emmanuel Odah and what he has been able to achieve with the FCT Hardrockers; the young boys really showed that the future of the game actually belongs to them.

“I must confess that we were overwhelmed at some point in the game.

“When you see my team, you get intimidated but these lads were not intimidated and that was what I saw and I am for them because they played very well,” he said.

Shehu noted that the FCT Hardrockers were a very good team, adding that they wouldn’t have been able to reach the ‘Elite eight’ stage of the competition, if they weren’t a solid side.

“They are a very good team, otherwise they wouldn’t be here.

“I know the kind of games they played in the “Sweet 16” for them to get here.

“So we were very weary of them. To be honest with you, they were one of the teams I was scared of because they are very young and keep coming at you.

“But we were able to use some small tactics against them because we know that they will all try to shoot the ball and play the game.

“So we gave them space to shoot around and they kept on missing and gave away to many turnovers in the process. This was the main reason why the gap opened up at some point in the game,” he said.

The chairman noted that his team was however, still a work in progress, adding that the team’s strategy was to take it one game at a time until they achieved the ultimate goal of lifting the trophy.

“We are hoping to lift the trophy and we are not mincing words about it.

“So, we are going to work hard to make sure that we overcome all the teams.

“So far, it’s been good for us, but that’s not to say we will be complacent and I hope that with the way we are going, the boys will continue to give out their very best.

“Tactically we will be okay and will hopefully get to the semifinals and then the finals, but we want to take the game one step at a time,” he said.

NAN also reports that in other games played on Thursday, Kwara Falcons edged Hotcoal 56 – 54 to record their first win.

FCT Hardrockers lost 68-81 to Nigeria Customs for their second consecutive defeat.

The last game of the day saw Gombe Bulls edge Kano Pillars 80-75 at the end of a pulsating encounter to hand the Sai Maisugida boys a painful second consecutive loss.

The championship, which resumed with the ‘Elite eight’ on Wednesday, sees eight teams divided into two groups (four each) with two best teams from each group expected to advance to the semifinals.

The finals will be played on Sunday to determine the winner of the championship.

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Victor Okoye

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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