NIGERIA : Royal Hoopers beat Union Bank, stay top

Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt at the weekend maintain its hold at the top of the Atlantic conference table of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) organised DStv Premier League with a 66-56 win over Union Bank of Lagos.

The bankers drew first blood as they tore the home side's defense apart and led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter.

The Ogoh Odaudu-tutored Hoopers fought back in the second period to tie the score at 26 all at halftime.

And the hosts held on to the momentum after the break, with Moses Daudu, Anyebe Ujoh, Musa Usman, Yusuf Abukaubar and Ikachi Ochoma getting it done at both ends of the court as they outscored their opponents 24-11 in the third quarter to open a 13-point lead, 50-37.

Union Bank fed Onyeka Ekpete down low and the move seemed to work as they cut the deficit, but Victor Anthony and Daudu make key baskets to hold off the visitors' rally. The Hoopers lost the final quarter 19-16 but still prevailed.

Anthony finished with 15 points, five rebounds, two steals and on blocked shot while Usman added 12 points and four assists as Hoopers improved to 6-2.

Odaudu said his team is committed to its course of qualifying for the FIBA Africa Championship Zone-III elimination as no team will be underrated in the league.

Olusegun Ikuesan
FIBA Africa