Powerhouses like Achimota, Sacred Heart, Ghana National College, Abuakwa State College and Kumasi Anglican Senior High amongst others could not make the cut for the final 24 teams expected to do battle at the El-Wak Sports stadium and the Aviation Social Centre respectively.
However big guns like Mfantsipim, Accra Academy, Wesley Girls, Adisadel College, Pope Johns’ Secondary and Junior Seminary, Keta, Senior High, Opoku Ware, Prempeh College, Akosombo International, Yaa Asantewaa, Koforidua Secondary Technical School and Prempeh College as well as Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High and St Thomas Aquinas would be duly represented.
BASKETBALLghana.com checks have revealed the schools have swung into full scale training with tough talk dominating the major talking points.
There are few sticky points to take note ahead of the championship.
The Sprite Ball Championship has been dominated by Cape Coast-based Mfantsipim and Sacred Heart in the boys’ and girls’ division respectively.
The two schools share between them nine incredible titles with Mfantsipim winning five while Heart have won the crown on four occasions in the past seven years.
Mfantsipim still remain the only school to have won the title in the Central Region on three successive occasions, leaving rivals Adisadel College and St Augustines’ to play catch-ups.
To add two national titles to their stock of titles in the coastal region speaks volume of the depth, quality and pedigree of the ‘only’ school in Ghana.
Sacred Heart surprisingly failed to qualify for the national finals after they stuttered in the Greater Accra zonal competition but their achievements are well-documented.
The Accra-based side beat Aggrey Memorial back-to-back to win the title in an amazing fashion at the El-Wak Sports Stadium in 2010 and 2011.
The feat came on the heels of their Greater Accra triumph where they negotiated their finals against Tema Senior High.
There is however another window of opportunity for Heart as they will be involved in the maiden edition of the X’mas Ball expected to roll out on the 24th of December where they will be hoping to secure qualification.
The act of revenge will be on the minds of some of the teaming when they lace their snickers to do battle in the competition.
The likes of Keta Senior High, Prempeh College and Koforidua Secondary Technical School especially have old scores to settle.
The aforementioned schools have lost the title narrowly in the past and would be desirous of avenging that defeat.
Keta for instance are the worst hit having lost in the finals on three occasions.
For many, something ‘inexplicable’ could be wrong with the Keta based-school and will be anxious to end the hoodoo that has characterized their inability to win the title for the time of asking.
Armed Forces failed to make the cut but Mfantsipim are in and so should brace themselves for a fight of their lives.
Both Koforidua Secondary Technical School and Kumasi-based Prempeh College have an axe to grind with Mfantsipim, after they lost the title to the latter in the 2012 edition held at the Aviation Social Centre.
Every competition comes with an intense rivalry that sparks massive debate among followers and the 7th edition of the prestigious championship won’t be anything different.
There will be lots of clashes that will make fans to take notice.
Mfantsipim’s rivalry with Adisadel could be re-kindled with Prempeh College and Opoku Ware likely to set the venue ablaze.