By Adedapo Adesanya
Milwaukee Bucks secured their first NBA championship in 50 years on Wednesday morning against the Phoenix Suns following a 105 – 98 win.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points as the Bucks claimed their first NBA title since 1971, landing a 4-2 series win in front of a 20,000 crowd.
They become only the fifth team to win the best-of-seven finals series after losing their first two matches.
The Suns were seeking their first NBA crown in their 53-year history, having also lost the NBA Finals series in 1976 and 1993.
Antetokounmpo, born in Greece with Nigerian ancestry, was the first player to have at least 40 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a finals’ game since blocks were first recorded in 1974 and became the seventh player to have at least 50 points in the championship round.
“I’m happy I was able to do it with this team for Milwaukee,” said Antetokounmpo.
It was also the third game in the series in which the 26-year-old has managed at least 40 points and 10 rebounds.
Antetokounmpo matches the feat of Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon by collecting a regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and NBA defensive player of the year awards.
“I want to thank Milwaukee for believing in me. I want to thank my teammates for playing hard with me,” Antetokounmpo said.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer described the Greek forward as “a special human being”.
“I’ve learned so much from him. He’s a special leader,” he said.
He praised the Suns, saying they had great players, a great coach and a great organization and then hailed his team.
“These players, they’re champions every day, Every day they come to the building they are champions.
“They’ve embraced getting better every day, they’ve embraced competing, they’ve embraced playing together. And it’s made them champions tonight. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
In 1971, the Bucks won the title in their third season behind the standout play of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) and Oscar Robertson. They beat the Baltimore Bullets in the final four games to none, winning the final game on the road.
This was the Bucks’ first appearance in the Finals since 1974 and it was the Suns’ third appearance in the Finals, the most recent coming in 1993.
Titans Win 2021 Shitsuke Flag Football League
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
Titans have retained the 2021 Shitsuke Flag Football League after defeating Lagos Rebels by 61 to 41 in a tense match held recently.
It was a spectacular outing that was every inch a final after nine consecutive Sundays of nine teams going head-to-head.
The championship, in its 5th season, was sponsored by VBank, which prides itself as Nigeria’s digital banking platform and banking app of the year 2020.
For the last year, the platform, powered by VFD Microfinance bank, has sponsored one sporting event after the other.
The V Shitsuke Flag Football league season 5 recognised individual brilliance as Odunayo Komolafe and Vivienne John were awarded the Male & Female Most Valuable Player (MVP) plaques respectively.
Speaking on the championship, the Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication, VFD Group, Ms Efeturi Doghudje, stated that, “VFD as a corporate establishment believes in promoting social cohesion in our local environments and that is why sponsoring sporting activities will remain an attraction for us.”
“In addition to keeping people fit, team sports like flag football encourage more people to bond either by watching and cheering their favourite teams or by playing in the games.
“The Shitsuke league, in particular, is doing a great job of making flag football more popular in Nigeria and VBank will continue to support innovations,” she further said.
Last April, VBank had partnered with Lagos Country Club to host a 2-week snooker & billiards tournament where winners won a total of N600,000 in cash.
Prior to that, the digital bank had sponsored its maiden snooker tournament which was held at eBar in Lekki, Lagos steadily building its footprints in Nigeria’s sporting scene.
Ibadan Golf Club Praises Heritage Bank for Sponsorship
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The prestigious Ibadan Golf Club (IGC) has commended the management of Heritage Bank for sponsoring its 30th anniversary held recently.
The event, which attracted several personalities, including the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, was also to honour pioneers of golf sport in Nigeria.
Captain of the Ibadan Golf Club, Mr Oladiran Ibironke, heaped praises on Heritage Bank and others providing financial support to ensure the success of the event.
“Special thanks to Heritage Bank Plc., the anniversary’s major sponsor for enlarging our coast financially in order to make the anniversary elaborate and eventful. You will forever be remembered in the history of Ibadan Golf Club,” he stated.
“We are celebrating 30 years today because some great minds came together and established what we are celebrating today.
“From the history that we heard, they started from Ibadan Recreation Club before moving over to where we are today in 1990,” Mr Ibironke added.
In her remarks, the acting Group Head, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank, Ms Ozena Utulu, expressed the gratitude of the lender to support the programme, which had over 150 golfers, as well as to be associated with Ibadan Golf Club.
She explained that the sponsorship was hinged on its brand’s passion to support sports, especially golf in promoting health, wellbeing and nation-building.
Ms Utulu stated that Heritage Bank, as the sponsor of Ibadan Golf Club’s 30th anniversary, was working diligently towards achieving its vision of becoming a bank known for promoting healthy lifestyles and the general wellbeing of the society at large.
Firm Gives NTA Rights to Broadcast Tokyo 2020 Olympics
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria’s leading sports marketing and management company, Integral, has secured the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on free-to-air television.
As a result, the company will once again work with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Network to deliver all content on its free-to-air-platform
This sub-license deal comes from Infront, a Wanda Sports Group company and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) exclusive rights holder for free-to-air distribution rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. The deal is in addition to Integral’s existing Premier League sub-license free-to-air media rights agreement on NTA.
The exclusive package includes TV broadcasts of live events as well as repeats and highlights from the Olympics.
As a result of the collaboration, over 200 hours of sporting content will be available on the NTA Network with 6 to 9 hours of daily content throughout the period of the Games from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
Speaking on the development, Mr Christophe Van Rothem, Infront Associate Director Media rights said: “Our objective is to maximize the reach of the Olympic Games 2020 and this partnership with our trusted partner Integral, will ensure we are able to bring this unique and thrilling event to millions of households in Nigeria.”
According to the Managing Director of Integral, Mrs Abimbola Ilo, “Following our partnership for the Premier League free-to-air rights, we are pleased to be working with Infront again to deliver high-quality sports moments to Nigerians.
“This is an important avenue to showcase the talents and tell the stories of exceptional athletes as they compete on the world’s biggest stage in Tokyo.”
Also speaking on the deal, Mr Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, the Director-General of NTA stated, “As Nigeria’s most popular broadcaster, we are committed to delivering quality content to our viewers and proud to be partnering with Integral again on what promises to be yet another exciting sports event.
“With this partnership, we will once again be bringing the best of premium sports to the widest distribution in Nigeria,” he said.
For Mrs Chichi Nwoko Integral’s Associate Director, Sports Rights and Media Partnership, she added, “We are happy to partner with Infront to bring another exciting major sports event to passionate Nigerian fans.
“As we add to our growing media rights catalogue, Integral is delighted to be at the centre of delivering live sports content to Nigerians yet again.”
Business Post understands that although the ceremony is officially to commence today, activities like men and women football among others with a longer period have started.
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