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Ba wins 17th BOG title

Ba reigned supreme following its 2018 Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants win over Suva at Churchill Park on Sunday.

The Men in Black had previously lost touch in winning a local tournament in more than a year and half and after defeating Suva 2-0 they are back in business.

Goals by Abbu Zahid and inform striker Samuela Nabenia proved enough to dispose a courageous Suva team that played two extra time matches in 24-hours.

The Whites had also taken Labasa to the wire in their semi-final match before booking a final spot thanks to a goal by Policeman Savenaca Nakalevu in second half of extra time.

The Ba side had begun the two-week long tournament with a win over Labasa (2-0) before a strong second half display disposed Tavua 4-0.

Home team Lautoka looked hungrier in their search for survival as Ba went down 2-0 but still made the knockout stage with the Sugar City side falling short on goal average.

The Roneel Kumar coached side bounced back to hammer Nadi 4-0 in the semis, signalling their intention of reaffirming their champion status.

Ba FA president Rishi Kumar thanked the players for their courageous display throughout the tournament and particularly taking note of their change of fortune.

“I must take this opportunity to thank the players for their total commitment in lifting the BOG title for the 17th time on Lautoka soil.

“We did not lose hope when we went through some dark days but this motivated us to come back a stronger team and finally the wait is over. I am happy that through our performance today (Sunday) we are able to bring back smiles to the people of Ba as soccer is the only major sport that has a strong following in Ba,” Kumar added.

And the BOG win was also a proud moment for Roneel Kumar as this was his first win as a coach.

“When Ba won the BOG in 2006 beating Suva in the final he (Roneel) was the captain and also scored a goal. Twelve years on he is now the coach and he led the team to this sweet win in the Sugar City,” revealed Rishi.

The soft spoken coach said it was a proud moment for him and his family to be part of history and thanked the team for having faith in his ability as he was still learning young and learning the trick of coaching.

The Men in Black went home $15,000 richer (which will be tripled according to Rishi) while Suva collected $4000 for their effort.

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