Following his 6-4,3-6,6-4 loss to Team Civil Defence’s Abdulmumuni Babalola in the second males’ singles game of the on-going NCC Tennis League in Abuja yesterday,Team Offikwu’s Henry Atseye has blamed it all on a loss of concentration.
The loss saw Team Civil Defence,last year’s second runner-up,go down 2-0, but Started felt that there were times in the game when he should have done better.
“Babalola is a great, experienced player and going up against him is a great thing.As it happened today, he earned a deserved victory and I congratulate him.
“Yes, there were moments when I was on the verge of a come-back, but I needed more focus.
“It happens to a lot of players and it happened to me.Sometimes, the noise from the gallery was to blame and, even for a second, when you try tore-adjust, it could cost you everything.”
Speaking after his victory, Babalola, though ecstatic, still called on his teammates to go all out and make the best of their lead.
“Last year, we were third, after losing to this same team in the semis.We don’t want that again.
“At a point in the game, I kept coming back up to stay focused.
“This victory means a lot, given that Offikwu has not lost any game this season.No,it is not about revenge.We have learnt our lesson and,therefore, do nor consider ourselves to be 2-0 up,but 2-0 down.That is the only way we can keep fighting and get through the final.Offikwu is not an easy team to beat and knowing this is the first step towards victory,” Babalola disclosed.
In the first game, a male single, between Offikwu’s Sylvester Emmanuel and Team Civil Defence’s Clifford Enosoregbe, the latter put his side ahead 1-0, with a 6-3,6-2 victory over the former.