Over a thousand spectators crammed into the indoor hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Sunday, 24th November, 2019, to watch the grand finale of the debut Temple Jam Basketball tournament, which saw the Gidi Giants lift the trophy after defeating Gombe Bulls 58-51 in a tense and pulsating affair.
The finale was opened by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was just one of a host of many special guests which includes Oba Saheed Elegushi, Daddy Showkey, Sound Sultan, Jeff Akoh, Mimi Onalaja, Mama Tobi, amongst others.
The Temple Jam basketball tournament, an initiative between the Lagos State baskeball Association and the Temple Management Company, witnessed 8 teams compete for the trophy over a 7-day period. The teams involved were the Oluyole Warriors of Oyo, Gidi Giants, Comets of Ondo, Anambra Flames, Gombe Bulls, Tema Harbor City, Kano Pillars and Nigeria Potters.
The Chairman of the Temple Management Company, Tunde Folawiyo, expressed his delight at the success of the tournament and urged Nigerian sports lovers to take a greater interest in basketball.
“I was most impressed by the organization and level of preparedness of the event by all concerned. Some of the participating teams came from quite a distance to be a part of this and everyone showed a wonderful competitive spirit. I hope that this tournament and continued initiatives by the Lagos State Basketball Association will raise the profile of the sport in Nigeria even further”, he said.
The Gidi Giants, who made their competitive debut, received many plaudits from a boisterous crowd for their flair, strength and sportsmanship. Owen Oriakhi, the elusive point guard for the Gidi Giants, went home with the championship’s MVP Award.