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Page 53 stories D’Tigers’ Lawal sure of Rio Olympics By Mansur Abubakar @mansur_112 D’Tigers top performer at the 2015 Afrobasket triumph Olaseni Shane Lawal, who…

Page 53 stories

D’Tigers’ Lawal sure of Rio Olympics

By Mansur Abubakar @mansur_112

D’Tigers top performer at the 2015 Afrobasket triumph Olaseni Shane Lawal, who suffered a suffered a torn meniscus while playing for Barcelona Lassa has assured concerned Nigerians that he will be a hundred percent fit for the Rio Olympics Games in Brazil after a successful surgery.

Lawal who averaged 19.6 efficiency and 9.0 rebounds in all games to help William Voight’s D’Tigers team clinch their first-ever continental championship in Tunisia got injured in Barcelona’s top 16 Round 7 of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague game played at the Palau Blaugrana against Zalgiris Kaunas which the Catalans won 92-86.

“Surgery was successful, I’ll be good for Rio, that’s for sure” the centre forward wrote on social media site, twitter yesterday.

Lawal, known in the basketball world as Shane Lawal, will be wearing the Barca shirt for the next two seasons after 28 year old signed the deal last year, went to Barcelona after winning all there is to win in Italy with Dinamo Sassari; the league, the Super Cup and the Cup.

He is one of the players expected to shine for Nigeria in the forthcoming Games come June, alongside Afrobasket MVP Chamberlain Oguchi and Trail Blazers star Al Amin Farouq.

32-man Nasarawa United off to Dakar

By Orkula Shaagee @shagcy

Nigeria’s flagbearers in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup, Nasarawa United FC will departed the shores of Nigeria for Dakar last night, aboard an ARIK Air plane.

Officials of the NFF protocol unit confirmed to thenff.com yesterday that the 32-man delegation of the Solid Miners will touch down in Dakar by 1am today.

Nasarawa United narrowly won the first leg played at the National Stadium in Abuja penultimate weekend 2-1, meaning the fixture is delicately poised going into the return at the Leopold Senghor Stadium on Sunday.

Already, the Confederation of African Football has named Ghanaian officials to take charge of the match. Hamidu Seidu Bomison is the referee, with Ibrahim Adams Badiu, Dawood Brimah Yamdogo Ouedraogo and Cecil Amatey Fleischer as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and reserve referee respectively. Algerian Mohammed Boukarroum is match commissioner.

In the same competition, Akwa United FC, 1-0 winners away over Vita Club de Mokanda in Pointe Noir, will host the Congolese at the Akwa Ibom Sports Stadium from 7pm on Saturday.

CAF has appointed officials from Cote d’Ivoire to handle the match, with Kouassi Frederic Francois Biro as referee, with Kouame Gabriel Kangah, Adou Herman Desire N’goh and Danon Roland Leonce as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and reserve referee respectively. Ghanaian Mukaila Adam Hassan is match commissioner.

Nigerians Benjamin Odey, Efosa Igudia, Peter Ogwu and Salisu Basheer will be referee, assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and reserve referee respectively for the Confederation Cup clash between USFA of Burkina Faso and Club Marrakech of Morocco in Ouagadougou.

In the CAF Champions League, Senegalese officials Daouda Gueye, Ababacar Sene, Serigne Cheikh Toure and Falou Galasse Kane will be referee, assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and reserve referee for the clash between Nigerian champions Enyimba FC and Vipers of Uganda at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

The People’s Elephant lost the first leg in Kampala 1-0.

Nigerians Abubakar Ago, Isah Usman, Temitope Orowole and Abdullahi Shuaibu will take charge of the clash between Stade Malien and Racing Club de Bobo of Burkina Faso in Bamako.

Dream Team know Olympics opponents April 14

By Mansur Abubakar @mansur_112

Nigeria’s Dream Team will know their first round opponents for this year’s Rio Olympics on April 14 when the draws take place at the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro according to a release by International Olympics Committee yesterday.

Coach Samson Siasia’s stars will represent Africa alongside Algeria and South Africa after they won last year’s African U-23 Championship in Senegal.

“Draws for the men’s and women’s football tournaments will be made at the Maracana Stadium on April 14. The legendary stadium, which will host the men’s and women’s finals on 19 and 20 August, will see the groups defined for the competition that will be staged in seven stadiums in six cities.” Statement on the Games website read.

Nigeria won the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Gold and were beaten by Argentina in the final of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in China.

Hosts Brazil and defending champions Mexico will be among the 16 teams to be drawn into four groups of the competition, which will be staged in August.

Only one spot is left in the men’s football event Colombia and USA will play off next month to decide that final spot.

The tournament will be played in six Brazilian cities including Rio, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte.

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