Ghana’s biggest basketball tournament Sprite Ball will take place between January 3-7, 2016 at the El-Wak Stadium in Accra.
The ninth edition of the Sprite Ball Championship will have 26 schools compete against each other in the male and female divisions respectively over a three day period for one of West Africa’s most coveted trophies.
The qualified schools will be drafted from six regions in Ghana. In this piece, Basketballghana.com’s Yaw Adjei-Mintah looks at the Eastern Regional representatives in next year’s competition.
A main stay in the competition since its’ inception in 2007, the Eastern Region is undoubtedly one of the best basketball stables in the West African nation. The region will be represented by Pope John Senior High and Minor Seminary and Koforidua Secondary Technical School (K.S.T.S.) in the boys’ division and Nkawkaw Senior High School in the girls’ division.
Popularly known as POJOSS, the Catholic institution is the basketball powerhouse in the Eastern Region as the school has consistently won the regional games.
The wins recorded are more impressive considering the region boasts of established basketball names like St. Peter’s Senior High, 2015 surprise package Mpraeso Senior High School and Okuapeman Senior High School.
Unfortunately, the young men from the east have not been able to translate their regional dominance to the national stage as the school is yet to take a crack at the championship game.
However, the current team made up of effervescent and committed players are bent on proving doubters wrong come January.
K.S.T.S., the 2009 silver medalists bounce back into the Sprite Ball Championship picture after missing out on last year’s edition. That absence came at the hands of Mpraeso who went on to make their debut appearance in the tournament.
In the qualifiers, the school easily went through the phases before losing to eventual champion POJOSS in the final game. In what has become a familiar trait of games involving the sworn rivals, POJOSS gained the upper hand in a feisty and very physical game.
Opponents ought to be wary of the threat of K.S.T.S. as the school’s new found form and momentum puts them high on the lists of contenders.
The “Queens of the East” maintained their rich tradition in the competition by qualifying to represent the region yet again. Nkawkaw’s dominance in the female division continued unabated in this year’s qualifier as they stormed to the title without much resistance.
Despite not having the biggest name like some of the school’s contemporaries, Nkawkaw Girls’ remarkable run to the national championship remains unblemished.
The ladies will hope to be rise above the competition when the national games begin January.