By Solomon Nwoke
Niger United (male) and Plateau Peacocks(female) have emerged winners of the first edition of the Prudent Energy Handball League, which ended at the weekend at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Complex, Rowe Park, Yaba.
The two-phased league, held in a round robin format with all the teams playing one another in Lagos and Abuja, saw United and Peacocks garnering the highest number of points to emerge victorious. Both teams got N1million for their effort.
Niger United had a total of 36 points, while Plateau Peacocks had 31 points.
Seasiders of Lagos (male) with 35 points and Safety Babes of Abuja (female) with 30 points placed second and also smiled home with N750, 000, while third-placed teams – Safety Shooters with 34 points and Imo Grasshoppers with 27 points finished third to get a reward of N500, 000.
In the individual award, Faith Inegbedion of Edo Dynamos grabbed three diadems in the female category. She was adjudged the Most Valuable player (MVP), the best centre and the highest goal scorer with 143 goals.
Other players who got award in the female category are Toyin Yusuf of Plateau Peaks (Best goalkeeper), Nwakego Nwabueze of Safety Babes (Best Left Winger), Ogechi Lambert of Safety Babes (Best Left Back), Rebecca John of Defender Babes (Best Right Back), Raji Taiwo of Safety Babes (Best Left Winger), Adaobi Okoro of Defender Babes (Best Pivot), while the Fair play went to Seasiders Babes of Lagos.
In the male category award, the Most Valuable player (MVP) and the Best Right Back gong went to Farouk Yusuf of D-Defenders of Abuja, Best Goalkeeper award went to Bashar Mohammed of Niger United, Andrew Ojo of Niger United was adjudged the Best Left Winger and Joseph Gbuan of COAS Shooters got the Best Left Winger award.
Also, Mudashiru Mohammed of D-Defenders was adjudged the Best Centre, Buba Mohammed of Safety Shooters emerged the Best Right Winger, the Best Pivot award went to Sulaiman Usman of Niger United, Jamilu Ibrahim of Borno Spiders with 166 goals emerged the Highest Goal Scorer, while the Fair Play award also went to Borno Spiders.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prudent Energy and Services Limited, Abdul Wasiu Sowami said his outfit was delighted to be part of the League, which has kept the hope of the players alive.
He noted that he was happy with the conduct of the first edition of the league and restated his company’s commitment to fulfilling “our obligation under the sponsorship deal. We will work with the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) to ensure that the league becomes the best in Africa.”
President of the HFN, Sam Ocheho stated that the journey to revive handball in the country with the partnership of Prudent Energy and Services Limited has begun and assured that the next few years would be key in the development of the game in the country.