Newcomers Team Tech Vibe of Jos pushed semifinal favourites Team Ndoma – Egba to the limit in the White Group round robin tie in Abuja over the weekend but fell short in the mixed doubles decider where the hosts had the upper hand on account of having a top 10 female player. Team Ndoma – Egba won the tie 4-3.
Aanu Aiyegbusi made the difference in what would have been a ‘fatal’ loss for the Abuja based team as she ably supported Thomas Otu whose power play frightened and overwhelmed, Iveren Gege - the opposing female player - leaving her partner Bala Musa, the ‘man of the match’ in the men’s doubles, completely helpless in the 2-6, 0-6 loss.
Team Tech Vibe’s three points came from Michael Michael who beat Paul Emmanuel 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Bala Musa who defeated Sanni Adamu 4-6, 7-6, 6-0, and the men’s doubles where Musa and Ochei Adehi edged Otu and Adamu 6-4, 5-7, 10-8.
Thomas Out saved the day for his team against the newcomers.
Former national champion, Otu, won his two singles matches against Michael and Adehi while Aiyegbusi ranked six in the NCC Women’s Ranking beat Gege 6-0, 6-2.
“We knew they would take us for granted” said Bala Musa, the lead player for Team Tech Vibe, “so we worked hard in training to surprise them and pull off an upset but we did not succeed in the end. If only we had a stronger female player we would have been through. We are happy we gave them a tough time."
Meanwhile in Kaduna, defending champions Team Offikwu kept a clean slate beating visiting Team Yetade of Ekiti 7-0 to maintain their lead in the White Group.
Chris Bulus beat Omodara Ayodeji 6-1, 6-1 and Ayobami Abayomi 6-2, 6-3 in two singles matches while Henry Atseye and Shehu Lawal beat Opeyemi Odeyemi 6-1, 6-0 and Michael Olajimbiti 6-3, 6-4 respectively to sweep the men’s singles matches.
Junior tennis star, Barakat Quadri beat Afolarin Akosile 6-0, 6-0 in the only women’s singles match and paired Bulus to win the mixed doubles defeating Kayode Olawolu and Akosile 6-3, 6-2.
The men’s doubles went the way of the host team with Lawal and Atseye striggling in the first set but eventually prevailing 7-5, 6-1 against Odeyemi and Ayodeji of Team Yetade.
In Ilorin, Team Goshen continued their winning ways by defeating Team CBN Futures 5-2. Junior national champion Michael Osewa and Augustine Stephen got the two points for the team of youngsters.
Osewa beat Jinadu Owolabi 7-6, 6-1 on the first day while Stephen got his win in the reverse singles where he defeated Wale Obalola 6-2, 6-1.
Team Goshen’s five wins came from Joseph Adim who beat Stephen and Osewa in staraight sets; Patience Onebamhoin who outplayed Toyin Asogba 6-0, 6-4; the men’s doubles pair of Adim and Ibiwoye who survived a set point before overcoming Osewa and Philip Abayomi 7-5, 6-4 and the mixed doubles where Owolabi and Onebamhoin beat Emma Jebutu and Molade Aderemi 6-3, 6-2.
The NCC Tennis League which is offering a consolidated prize money of N23 million and taking place in 12 cities continues this weekend with matches at the Port Harcourt Club, the Kwara Stadium in Ilorin and at the VGC Club Lekki – Lagos.