The road to the 2014 Sprite Ball Championship has shifted into full focus after twenty-four (24) boys’ teams and eight (8) girls team got to know their opponent for next week’s championship in Accra.
Seven years to the day since Presec, Legon became the first team to win the Sprite Ball Championship in Accra, Ghana’s basketball biggest prize was in the limelight once more with some intriguing fixtures to look forward to.
As the draw for the prestigious championship was made on TV3’s Sports station last Monday, there were pulses accelerating inside the studio and far beyond as the draw unfolded.
The draw threw up some interesting and eye-catching as well as games involving perennial rivals and former winners in the same group.
There are varied views on the proverbial ‘group of death’ with Keta Senior High, Prempeh College, Adisadel and Accra-based Ghana Lebanon and Islamic School locked up in the same group.
Eastern regional giants Koforidua Secondary Technical School have Mawuli School, Opoku Ware and West African Senior High in company in group B.
Group C also has some mind-blowing contest involving seeded Ghana Secondary Technical School as well as Presbyterian Boys’ Akwamuman and Kumasi Anglican.
Defending champions Mfantsipim must negotiate difficult ties against old foes and rivals St Augustines, Accra High and Takoradi-based St Johns in what others have described as a tricky group.
The girls division also threw up some exciting group contest with two former winners finding themselves in the same group.
Current holders Aggrey Memorial will battle former champions Yaa Asantewaa as well as Tema Senior High and Labone Senior High in pool A.
Volta regional-based side Kadjebi-Asato have drawn debutant T.I Ahamdiya, Mfantseman and last year’s losing finalist St Mary’s.
The 2014 Sprite Ball Championship is billed as one of the strongest ever in recent history with most of the major teams qualifying and plenty of top players hitting their peaks ahead of what is expected to be a taciturn affair.
Ambitious teams need plenty of oxygen to realize their dream of winning the ultimate with the likes of KSTS, Ketasco and Presec widely seen as the teams which could pose a major threat to Mfantsipim’s dominance.