Fans of the Continental Basketball League were treated to an evening of basketball in all its glory at the just concluded All Star Games. On the 28th of May,the remodeled Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos was packed full as the West All Stars and the Central All Stars entertained the excited fans.
The evening was kick-started with an electrifying performance from Big Brother Nigeria winner, Efe Ejeba who performed his hit song, Based on Logistics. Basketballs were flying during the Three-Point Shoot-Out, where most teams in the league were represented, with Jordin Mayes of Lagos City Stars emerging as the winner.
In a rapid succession, the Cintron Slam Dunk Contest followed, with the players displaying immense skill and prowess in slamming the ball into the basket. Doug Thomas of Lagos City Stars emerged winner of the strongly contested contest. While speaking to members of the press, Thomas gave an emotional tribute and dedicated the trophy to his late younger brother who died just a day before.
At last came the All Star game which was sheer class as the thrilled fans cheered at every point. It was obvious the players had come to show off some skills, and they had a lot of fun doing just that. However, pressure increased by the last quarter, as both teams intensified their efforts to clinch the win. The game ended with a scoreboard of 119-113 in favour of the West All Stars. George Thomas of the Eko Kings emerged the MVP. “This is my first year playing pro basketball and I’m grateful to have won this MVP title. I have a great team and a great coach and I’m just happy and grateful,” Thomas said.
During half-time, The CEO of CBL, Ugo Udezue, on behalf of the league recognised and presented awards to some exceptional people who have, in one way or the other, lent their support to the CBL. Some of the award recipients are the Special Advisor to the Lagos State Governor on Sports, Deji Tinubu, Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water of Total E &P, Musa Kida, Ayodeji Egbeyemi of LA Clippers, and Priscilla Adeboye of Wema Bank amongst others.
The All Star weekend was really an all star affair, as Chairman of Megalectrics, Chris Ubosi, Lilian Esoro, Sasha P, Kemi Adetiba, Ejike Ugboaja, Bizzle, Sensei Uche, and Eunice Omole, among others were present on the courtside cheering the teams.
According to Ejike Ugboaja, “What I have witnessed here is the best in Nigeria, close to the NBA. Thanks to Ugo and his team, as well as all the partners and sponsors”.
With the All Star Weekend behind us, all focus is on the next round of games which will be between the final four teams: Eko Kings, Yaounde Giants, Abidjan Raiders, and Lagos City Stars. The games will be on June 3rd and 4th, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium and is billed to be the best of basketball and entertainment that Africans have ever seen on home soil.
CEO of the Continental Basketball League, Ugo Udezue, has said that the league is working hard at placing Africa amongst the world’s top 3 basketball leagues. “We are yet to scratch the surface, and we will keep working together with our partners to give Africa and Africans a league that would make them proud all over the world,” said Udezue.
Continental Basketball League is proudly supported by the Lagos State Government, AFA Sports, SWIFT, PaddyBet, 360Nobs, Red Cheetah by SWIFT, Maison Fahrenheit, Cintron, Printivo, Bugaa Connect, Bobby Taylor Company, Domino’s Pizza, Selemedic, McErnest Events, Metro FM, Genevieve Magazine, Ebony Life, Blindspotng, Air Cote d’Ivoire and The Beat 99.9FM.