Pillars, Safety Babes tower in H’Ball Premier League
by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
Defending champions Kano Pillars have finished top at the close of Prudent Energy Handball Premier League held at the MKO National Stadium, Abuja.
Phase 1 of the tournament which ended yesterday, Thursday, witnessed a lot of inspiring performances from the league leaders who burrowed through all matches to remain the only side unbeaten.
In their last game against Seasiders and occupant of the third position on the league table, the towering Kano Pillars recorded a 40-33 win in Phase 1 of Nigeria’s handball topflight tournament to reaffirm their dominance.
However, other results in the men’s category, saw Rima Strikers finish fifth with 23 points as they defeated Owena Kings 36-24 while De Defenders in the eighth position narrowly edged Police Machine to record a heartwarming 25-24 win with 21 points.
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Sixth-placed Tojemarine capped their phase 1 campaign on a positive note with 22 points, crumbling Benue Buffaloes 37-31. They finished a point higher than fellow Lagos team, Seasider Boys who ended on 7th.
Shockingly, Safety Shooters leapfrogged Niger United to secure second place on the Premier league table after a 26-23 win against the latter.
According to the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) in the women’s category, Safety Babes had a perfect finish to end the Phase 1 as they defeated Plateau Peacocks 32-28, ensuring that they won all their matches to top the league table with 27 points while Imo Grasshoppers and Bendel Dynamos played out a 21-21 draw.
HFN added that Debutant Rima Queens finished phase 1 in the second position after they defeated Seasider Babes with an emphatic 32-18 victory while Defender Babes clinched the third spot as they ended the first phase with a thunderous 40-26 victory over Adorable Angels of Ilorin.
The second phase and concluding instalment of the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League 2022 will hold in Lagos later in the year wherein the league winners will be crowned in both the male and female categories respectively.
The Trumpet reports that Dikko Ibrahim of Kano Pillars and Idowu Abdulrazaq of Defender Babes won the ‘Most Valuable Player award’ in the men and women categories respectively.