Ogori Magongo Retains Ajanah Memorial Basketball Championship Title
By Niyi Busari
Ogori Magongo Local Government Area are the first to win the annual Ajanah Inter-local Government Basketball championship title back to back in Kogi State on Wednesday night after defeating stubborn Okene with just two points (60-58) in a neck-to-neck, pulsating encounter.
The final which started with a high tension saw the tournament’s runners up, Okene took the lead in the early stage but Ogori Magongo were too determined to be frustrated. With so much tension in the air among the players, coaches, supporters and spectators following great skills, good footworks and good scoring displayed by both teams. Ogori had last year stopped the runners up, Okene, from staging a back to back champions, having won the title in 2018.
Earlier on Wednesday, Okene Local Government Area (LGA) were the first team to book the final ticket after defeating Okehi LGA with ten points gap (49-39) in the first semifinal on match-day 3. The champions, Ogori Magongo LGA proved their superiority over Kogi LGA in the second semifinal defeating the fourth best team 60-32 to stage a final faceoff with Okene.
In the Third-place game, Okehi beat Kogi to emerge the 3rd best team in the maiden Ajanah Memorial annual Basketball tourney.
Individual and team awards were presented at the end of the memorial, emotional championship. The champions, Ogori received a trophy and cash prize of One hundred and fifty thousand (N150,000) only. The runners-up were rewarded with a trophy and One hundred thousand naira (N100,000) only for their efforts while Third best team received a trophy and Seventy thousand naira (N70,000) cash prize.
In the individual award, Chibuzor Njoku of Ogori Magongo emerged highest scorer as Francis Nnoruka of Okehi won the Highest block shots award, Benedict Onovhugakpo won the Best Rebounder award while the Most Valuable Player award went to Kelvin Pam of Ogori Magongo. They were presented with trophies to mark their outstanding performances.
The MVP was however, awarded with cash prize, trophy, shoe, shirt and ball.
Reacting to the success recorded during the tournament, Chairman Local Organizing Committee, Olumide Oyedeji who was emotional following the death of the late Justice Nasiru Ajanah said, eight talents have been spotted and scouted. He added that the annual tourney has become the home where domestic basketball players gather every year to engage themselves to fine-tune, show their skills and technical knowledge to the world.
“This is is the first edition after the demise of late Ajanah Nasiru and I am happy that it was successful and glamorous tournament. Not less than eight good talented players were discovered and I think that is an added glory.”
Kelvin Pam, the Most Valuable Player of the tournament admitted that he was surprised to be named the MVP according to him, the award was won due to his accurate shots that won points for his team.