First Bank Basketball Club coach, Peter Ahmedu believes he should have done better at the 2017 FIBA Africa Champions Cup Women in Angola last month.
The Zone 3 representatives were beaten by the eventual champions, Clube Desportivo 1º de Agosto 64-44 points in the semi-final and could only manage a third place finish beating InterClube.
In a chat with ACLSports, Ahmedu said he has started early preparation and hopes to reach the final next year after finishing third in two consecutive years.
“I need to prepare early to get to the final next time. I felt I should have done better. My focus now will be getting to the final next year.The mistake made was not communicating early with our foreign players, we got them late, they joined late, facilities used for the training camp was not up to international standards and the environment was not suitable. I am sure we will work on these lapses hopefully the organisation will help us adjust our errors,” he said.
“Afrobasket winnner Ndidi Madu who played for her Angolan club, InterClube was a big threat to my girls. We didnt have her kind of player in First Bank. She is a player with a unique touch on the ball in terms of rebounding, allowing guards to take shots. In our subsequent recruitment, we will get a player like her before the tournament begins. I’ll be out of the country this week hoping to talk to some players who will be able to join us next year and ill also go for courses.”
The former Mark Mentors coach is optimistic of getting talented players like American Dominique Wilson whose 17 points and 4 rebounds handed First Bank a back to back bronze medal win against InterClube at the FIBA Afric Champions Cup Women in Luanda.
“Wilson is God’s sent she never played with us in Nigeria throughout the training programme only joined us in Angola. Wilson is a young player who just finished from college last year and had never played in the Champions Cup or any where else. Playing in the tournament was a big problem for her, but I am happy she did well, made me proud, her team and the country proud. She finished as the highest scorer of the tournament and named among the best 5 of the tournament. I think we can have two or three players like her hopefully next year we will be smiling home with the trophy.”
ACLSports can confirm that the team is yet to be honoured for their achievement in Luanda last month. A feat if carried out by the organisation, would excite the Benue-born coach.
“I can’t tell them what to do because I am a contract coach and mine is to do my job any other thing is a plus. But if they do appreciate the team for their achievement, I’ll be happy. The media can be of help to us making sure the news gets to them on the need to appreciate the team,” he concluded.