By Abdulazeez Ibrahim
One of Nigeria’s flag bearers at the continental Basketball championship, Kano Pillars Basketball Club departed yesterday for Rades in Tunisia to take part in the FIBA Africa Champions Cup.
The competition is the highest-calibre men’s professional basketball competition for clubs, organized by the FIBA Africa and played by the champions of the leagues of the African countries.
Throughout its rich history, it has been clubs from Angola who have dominated winning 11 out of the 30 champiomships since the ACC started in 1971.
This golden Angolan thread showed no sign of unraveling after Petro Atletico de Luanda were crowned the 2015 champions to make it four wins for Angolan teams in five years.
Egyptian club Al Ahly was just able to halt the Angolan dominance last year by defeating Recreativo do Libolo of Angola in the 2016 final.
Despite these facts Pillars basketball coach Sani Ahmed expressed optimism in the ability of his boys to cause an upset, hinting that Nigerian basketball fans should expect some novelty from his team this term.
Speaking to press men before their departure, Pillars coach Sani Ahmed expressed his gratitude to the Kano state Government for their support and the Chairman of Kano state Sports commission for his commitment towards the development of sports.
“My team is ready for the Africa championship cup and I can assure you that we will perform better than last year,” Coach Ahmed said.
Last month, Kwese Premier League champions Kano Pillars secured their ticket for the FIBA Africa Champions Cup by edging all other teams in the FIBA Zone 3 qualifiers held in Lagos including Customs Club Of Ghana and ASPAC of Benin Republic.
12 Teams on the ACC 2017 Lineup:
1. Etoile Sportive Rades (Tunisia)
2. Kano Pillars (Nigeria)
3. Gombe Bulls (Nigeria)
4. AS Mazembe(Democratic Republic of Congo)
5. New Generation (DR Congo)
6. City Oilers (Uganda)
7. InterClube de Luanda (Angola)
8. Sport Libolo e Benfica (Angola)
9. Ferroviario da Beira* (Mozambique)
10. Union Sportive Monastirienne* (Tunisia)
11. Association Sportive Sale (Morocco)
12. Groupement Sportive Petroliers (Algeria).
The 2017 edition of the African Basketball clubs Championships will be played from 11 to 20 December.