The stage is now set for the Zenith Women Basketball to commence on July 20, a statement from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) in Abuja said on Wednesday.
NBBF Media Officer, Afolabi Oni, in a statement, said the postponement from July 1 to 20, was to allowed all clubs in the league to complete their registration and other formalities ahead of the new season.
Oni said that the home and away format will still be adhered to as planned, but in a different format because of the financial strength of the clubs.
”Teams have been divided into four groups in line with the traditional Atlantic and Savannah Conferences.
”First Bank will start its title defence alongside arch rivals, Dolphins, Sunshine Angels, Ekiti Angels, Oluyole Babes and Ogun Babes in Lagos.
”In Akure, Delta Force, IGP Queens, MFM Queens, Coal City Queens of Enugu and First Deep Waters will slug it out for one of the eight slots in the National Conference phase.
”Zaria will play host to Taraba Hurricanes, Kebbi Angels, Adamawa Angels, Zamfara Babes, Exousia Angels, GT-2000, Nigeria Army Amazons and Kano based AHIP.
”Nigeria Customs, Benue Princes, Plateau Rocks, Nasarawa Amazons, Blackgold Queens, Air Warriors Babes and FCT Wings will converge on Abuja,” Oni said.
He said that the teams would play a round-robin format which would serve as the first leg (home games) before embarking on a short break.
”Different venues will be picked as hosts of the second leg (away games), after which eight teams (total of 16) will emerge to play the Conference phase before the National Final Four,” the statement said.
The statement also quoted the NBBF President, Engr. Musa Kida as saying that the federation was mindful of the economic situation in the country.
”We are mindful of the economic situation in Nigeria which has continued to directly affect the financial strength of club owners and as a responsible federation, we will continue to work closely with all stakeholders”.
”The federation assured that the sponsor (Zenith Bank) and the NBBF have already concluded plans to commence the league, while waiting for total compliance from clubs,” Kida added.