Gombe Bulls coach Abdulrahman Mohammed believes he has accomplished his target following his side’s debut outing at the 2017 FIBA Africa Champions Cup in Tunisia.
Mohammed took Gombe Bulls to a second place finish at the end of the 2016/2017 Kwese Premier Basketball League and the FIBA Africa Zone 3 Qualifiers but finished 11th at the 2017 FIBA Africa Champions Cup in December.
The former Nigeria international who took Bulls from division one to the premier league four years ago, told www.aclsports.com he is proud to deliver his promises made to the team.
“Its been great four years with the team. We came together to set a target to get to where we are now and so it’s a dream come true. It’s a good experience for things we planned to fall in place. We have learnt our lessons as a team, management, individuals, administrators, technical crew so it will help us going forward. We are glad where we are now.”
The Gombe-based team finished with a 2-5 record at the club Championship, winning just two out of their 7 games played. Rather than feel disappointed, Mohammed took positives from their win against 2016 finalists, Libolo in the group stage.
“There are some games we should have done better but I am not disappointed. Winning two games out of 7 at that level for the first time it’s a great achievement especially creating an upset against a team that got to the final in 2016. Like the one we played against Kano Pillars which we could have won and didn’t, losing it in the last two minutes of the game. It could have put us slightly ahead of Pillars that have been representing Nigeria in the past years. I am not disappointed because it was a great outing for us we will use that to improve on ourselves going forward,” Mohammed emphasised.
Kano Pillars have been a bogey team for Gombe Bulls who could only manage three wins out of 9 times both sides met in 2017. The D’Tigers assistant coach doesn’t see the Nigerian champions as a threat any more but however hopes to break their dominance soon.
“Pillars are no longer a to threat to us we are looking forward to always playing them and keep finding a way to beat them just that they have a little edge. I can’t figure it out I am still trying to find it.”
“Back in Tunisia, when we played against them we led till the last minute. There is something about Pillars you can’t point your fingers on and say this is it. They are being told every season to look out for the number 7 jersey Abubakar Usman and then you lose to this same player each year not like we can’t close up game but that little edge I am trying to figure it out but that’s the last dominance I dont think they will be a threat to us any more.”
Mohammed’s contract expired in December 2017 and it is yet to be seen if it will be extended before the start of the 2017/2018 Kwese Premier Basketball League.
“If I walk away now, it will be with my head held high because I made a promise to Gombe Bulls to get them the title or continent. I think I have been able to deliver my promise though It is not the greatest of achievement for the fans and people of Gombe,” he said.
“My contract ended in December I’ll see how far it goes from here. We usually renew it every year as soon as I get my pay check for December, I am a free agent and my options will be open. I have great love for the team and it will be great to go and consolidate what we have achieved so far.”