Defending champion of the Nigeria Men league, Kano Pillars basketball club Thursday began its title defense on good note with a 98-86 points win over 2008 runner-up, Union Bank basketball club at the sports hall of the national stadium, Lagos .
Pillars coached by Nigeria senior men national team, D'Tigers, Coach Sanni Ahmed went up in the first and second quarters 25-17 and 22-21 points to go into the break with a 47-38 points lead.
Union Bank to stage a big come-back into the game at the resumption of play in the third quarter only gave them a slim 24-23 point"s win as the Pillars players stood their ground.
Spurred on by the duo of Abubakar Usman - 36 points, 8 assists and 3 steals and Stanley Gumut 26 points, 6 steals, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, Pillars gave the fans that defied the down-pour to catch a glimpse of basketball action in the play-offs of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF organized DSTV Basketball League to further punish their opponent with a 28-24 points last quarter win for a cumulative score-line of 98-86 points.
Pillars will take on fellow Savannah conference side Kadda Stars at 16.00 hours while the Stallion boys as Union Bank is also known will have its hands full when it confront Royal Hoopers basketball club of Port Harcourt at 12.00Hours Friday.
….. Aguara power Islanders past Potters 70-60
Atlantic conference league leader of the Nigeria premier league, Islanders basketball club of Lagos continue its regular season good run in the Day-1 of the DSTV Basketball League final-8 playoffs Thursday with a resounding victory over Savannah conference side, Niger Potters basketball club of Minna at the sports hall of the national stadium, Lagos .
Islanders’ basketball club forward, Kingsley Aguara recorded 19 points and 7 rebounds to power his side to victory over the Potters.
Islanders’ first and second quarters win of 11-09 and 21-10 was enough to seal victory for them as Potters fought back gallantly in the third and fourth quarters with narrow wins by 22-21 and 19-17 points could not save them from defeat.
Sheu Muhammed led the Potters in scoring with 18 points and 9 rebounds, old war-horse, Chigozie Nwoye added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assist while former Nigeria U-18 men national team small forward, Farouk Musa Oyalade contributed 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steal with Gabriel Sabo grabbing 10 rebounds for his side.
Potters will on Friday (today) take to the floor against former Nigeria league champion, Plateau Peaks basketball club of Jos at 14.00hours while Islanders quest to win a silverware this season under a new management will be further put to test as Coach Ogoh Odaudu lead his ward out against Dodan Warriors basketball club in what fans have dub battle of the Atlantic at 18.00hours.
…… Peaks succumbed to Warriors 76-81, as Hoopers edge Kadda 79-71
Dodan Warriors basketball club of Lagos gave a blister of hope that it is prepared to fight for a semi-final ticket in the DSTV Basketball League playoffs when it shoved off challenges from Plateau Peaks basketball club of Jos with an 81-76 point’s victory.
Warriors with consortium of coaches led by Club Coordinator, Col. Sam Ahmedu (Rtd) decision the former champion in the first and second quarters with a 21-17 and 18-17 points win to take a halftime lead of 39-34 points.
Peaks fought back in the third quarter to win by 29-24 points to even scores at 63 points apiece to go into the last quarter but it was a resilient Warriors side who were determined to begin its campaign on winning note that had the last laugh winning the last quarter by 18-13 points to recreate the five points margin of 81-76 points.
And in the last game of the opening day of the playoffs which dragged into the night Royal Hoopers basketball club of Port Harcourt had the better of the battle of debutants beating Kadda Stars basketball club of Kaduna by 79-71 points.
Islanders 70-60 Niger Potters
Kano Pillars 98-86 Union Bank
Plateau Peaks 76-81 Dodan Warriors
Royal Hoopers 79-71 Kadda Stars
Union Bank Vs Royal Hoopers (B) – 12.00HRS
Niger Potters Vs Plateau Peaks (A) – 14.00HRS
Kadda Stars Vs Kano Pillars (B) – 16.00HRS
Dodan Warriors Vs Islanders (A) – 18.00HRS
By: Olusegun Ikuesan