Team Hope, newcomers to the NCC Tennis League, have vowed to cause a major upset when they take on Team Civil Defence, last year’s runner-up, at the Government House Squash Club in Asaba this weekend.
Team Hope had a very shaky start in Abuja last week when they were pummeled by Team FCT which won six out of seven matches.
|Christie Agugbom, member of Team Civil Defence believes that Team Hope are only dreaming with their prospects.|
“We were a bit nervous this being our first time,” said Collins Edison, the manager of Team Hope.
“And the occasion and the big opening ceremony with the Minister of Sports there overwhelmed our players a little bit. But we are playing at home and I am sure we have the team to cause a major upset.”
Team Hope is banking on a much improved Ikechukwu Iloputa who snatched a point from immediate past national champion Thomas Otu in Abuja as well as hard hitting Paul Emmanuel who lost narrowly in the two singles matches he played in Abuja against Otu and Sunday Emmanuel.
Team Civil Defence which parades two former national champions – Babalola Abdulmumuni and Shehu Lawal – for the men and current ladies’ champion, Christie Agugbom, as their lead players is not bothered by the threat.
“They are joking!” exclaimed Agugbom, known for her resilience and determination on court.
“We missed the title narrowly last year and we are not going to take any chances with any team,” she said.
The other tie for the week will have Team Goshen host Team Lead Way at the Kwara State Stadium tennis courts, Ilorin.
The Kwara State capital which has not hosted a major national tournament in decades will have two top 10 players – Joseph Imeh (men) and Ronke Akingbade (ladies) featuring in the tie.
All matches are expected to start at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday.