The delayed 2023 NBBF Premier Basketball League dunked off in four cities at the weekend with 26 clubs fighting for Final Eight tickets.
The host cities are Abuja, Asaba, Lafia and Ibadan. 14 of the clubs are in the Savannah Conference, while 12 are in the Atlantic Conference. Each of the conferences are divided into A and B.
In Group based in Abuja are Kano Pillars, Nigeria Customs, Nigeria Army, Niger Potters, Nile University, Bauchi Nets and Kada Stars, while Group B comprises Benue Braves, Correctional, Gboko City Chiefs, Gombe Bulls, Mark Mentors, NSCDC Defenders and Plateau Peaks. They are playing in Lafia.
In Asaba are Rivers Hoopers, Delta Force, Police Batons, Lagos Legends and Lagos Raptors, while defending champions, Kwara Falcons, are in the Ibadan centre alongside Hoops and Reads, Lagos Islanders, Impressions, Comets, Ondo Raiders, Invaders and Oluyole Warriors in Ibadan.
Lagos Legends and Delta Force will open the competition in the Asaba centre with the game between Lagos Raptors and Police Batons coming immediately after.
The matches of the Ibadan centre began at the weekend with defending champions, Kwara Falcons, defeating Comets 60-55, just as Hoops and Reads beat Ondo Raiders 78-49, while Oluyole Warriors edged out Impressions 48-42 points.
The top two teams in each of the groups will advance to the Final Eight in Lagos next month.
The winner of the 2023 NBBF Premier League will represent Nigeria at the 2024 Basketball Africa League (BAL) in Kigali, Rwanda.