Nigeria Customs, ASPAC qualify to inaugural AWBL
ABUJA (Nigeria) – Nigeria Customs and ASPAC of Benin Republic have emerged the two qualified sides to the Final Round of the inaugural edition of the FIBA Africa Women's Basketball League (AWBL).
The newly-launched AWBL will run between December 11-19 in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria.
Customs finished top of the three-team regional qualifier, finishing with a perfect 2-0 while ASPAC finished in second place with a 1-1 mark.
Meanwhile, MFM Queens finished in third place with 0-2 record.
The Border Girls, as the Nigeria Customs team are known, started the Qualifiers with an expressive 65-48 win over ASPAC and followed it up with another victory over MFM Queens 55-49 in a game the Nigeria Customs technical crew, led by Coach Abdulrahman Mohammed had to dig deep to overcome their opponent.
MFM Queens left the host team fans on the edge of their seats for the better part of the game as they led comfortably in the early stages of the game but could not pull the strings when it mattered the most.
Benin vice-champions ASPAC, on their part, started the African Women Basketball League 2023 Qualifiers with a surprise 53-48 win over highly-favored MFM Queens, but lost their second game to the Nigeria Customs 65-48. The result secured them a place in the Final Round in Egypt.
Captain of the Nigeria Customs team Nkem Akaraiwe emerged the Most Valuable Player and led the All-Tournament team alongside teammate Taiwo Olaluwatomi, Onaibe Jessica (ASPAC), Regina Donanu (MFM Queens) and Diarra Coumba (ASPAC).
Four teams were to take part in the Qualifiers but Elan Coton pulled out at the last minute leaving host Nigeria Customs, MFM Queens and ASPAC of Benin to contest.