Despite losing twice in two finals, Ganiyu Ashimiyu has garnered 30 points to lead the table in the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF)-organised pilot league holding at the new look knock-up hall of the National Stadium in Lagos.
As the tournament enters third day on Monday, from the 20 teams taking part in the seven-day league, G20 Club has amassed 40 points to remain on top of the league table while it is followed by Nigeria Civil Service Defense Corps (NCSDC), which has 36 points, while Sunshine Club of Akure has 35 points to place third on the table.
In the singles, a not-confidence Ashimiyu disappointed most of his fans in the two finals played at the weekend, having dominated the two encounters but failed to capitalize on this to win as the two occasions.
In the first final match against Ojo Onaolapo, Ashimiyu was leading thrice at 7-2 but his inability to read the game was his undoing as he lost to Onaolapo.
And beyond all doubts, he managed again to make it to the final in the second day of the league, but what he befell him in the first final repeated itself as he also lose to Idowu Onifade to settle for the second place in the match.
However, for his efforts, Ashimiyu topped the table with 30points from the two days already concluded, while Onaolapo who won the first day is second with 28points after finishing in the last eight of the second day.
Sunday Odunlade of G20 club is third with 24 pints while Onifade placed fourth with 23 points.
For NTTF President, Wahid Oshodi, the league has indeed lived up to its billing as some of the upcoming players have performed well compared to the performance of the some of the experienced players.
“I am really impressed with the performance of all the players especially the upcoming ones because they have shown that they are ready to take over. For us, this will help to unearth new players and also keep the players in good shape. We are hoping that at the end of the league, new players will emerge and we will ensure that they are nurture to stardom. We want to have a pool of players that can represent the country at various competitions. So for us, this league is an eye-opener and it is a worthy exercise which we hope to make bigger in October this year,” Oshodi said.
The federation as well as well-meaning individuals is sponsoring the one-week championship.
The league shall be played for seven days with champion for each week earning 20 points; the runner-up will get 15 points, while semifinalists will amass 12 points.
All the quarterfinalists will earn eight points, while players that make it to the last 16 will get five points.
After all the matches, the cumulative points of players in each team shall be calculated, while the club whose team has the highest cumulative points shall be the eventual winner.
The 40 players have been drawn into eight groups with the best two in each progressing to the top group. Winner of each week will get N30, 000 while the total prize money is N890, 000.