[FILES] Basketball<br />Photo: PIXABAY
Imo State, at the weekend, defeated Enugu State by 43 to 42 points to win the maiden Southeast Invitational Basketball Tournament held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu. 
The champions reached the final by beating Abia 35 to 33, while Enugu overpowered Anambra 33 to 26 in the four-day competition.
Speaking after the final match, an elated Joseph Ogbonna, the Imo Captain, said his teammates were excited to win the tournament.
He described the tournament “as a stepping stone for many of us, as it has provided us opportunity of showcasing our talents in the sport.”
Ogbonna, however, appealed to the Federal Government to save Nigerian basketballers from the embarrassment caused by their suspension from international competitions for two years.
“Nobody is happy with the suspension of basketball from international competitions at the time the game is fast-growing,” he said.
Also speaking, the Secretary of, South East Basketball Association, Mr. Osondu Ngwude, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the boys during the competition, explaining that the association decided to host the tournament in different states of South-East Nigeria.
He disclosed that Abia State may likely host the next edition of the tournament, adding that future editions would be better organised than the just-concluded event.
Imo State Coach, Mrs. Nkwocha Joyce, said she was happy that her team conquered the host in the most exciting game of the competition. She said it was a fight to the finish, noting that her zeal for the game spurred the team.
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