Royal Hoopers basketball club of Port Harcourt Thursday compounded the fortune of former champion of the Nigeria DStv Premier Basketball League, Kano Pillars basketball club with an 82-79 points victory to stop the former champion from advancing to the semi-finals stage of the 2010/2011 season of the DStv PBL Final-8 Playoffs in Lagos.
The win over Pillars by the Hoopers gave them the top spot in the group going into the semi-finals which has been schedule for Saturday at the sport hall of the national stadium, Lagos.
Royal Hoopers who was beaten to the Nigeria domestic league title last seaon in Port Harcourt found Lagos a willing venue to pay Pillars back in it own coin not even Pillars guard and reigning leading scorer of Africa Champions Cup competition, Abubakar Usmans 40 points of the night could stop the Pillars from defeat as the Hoopers players match them skill for skill with motion offense.
The former champion took the first and third quarters by 25-21 and 22-20 points as both sides tied the second quarter at 17 points apiece with the Coach Ogoh Odaudu tutored Hoopers picking the last quarter by 24-15 points for a final score line of 82-79 to set up a semi-finals clash against Kada Stars basketball club of Kaduna.
The first semi-final pairing will see Atlantic conference leader, Union Bank basketball club of Lagos who rose from its Wednesday shock defeat to Comets basketball club to defeat Kada Stars BC by 88-71 points will do battle against surprised semi-final qualifier Dodan Warriors basketball club of Lagos who prove book makers wrong after dropping its first two group-B games to Kano Pillars and Royal Hoopers to humble giant killing Yelwa Hawks basketball club of Bauchi by 87-62 points to go through on the head-to-head rule between it Pillars and Hawks as the three sides finished the preliminary round with one win and two loses.
Royal Hoopers team manager, Ifie Ozaka is confident his side has what it takes to win the title this season declaring that this is Hoopers year.
With great respect to other teams in this season playoffs we beleive our team has the best chances of winning the league this time.
The Port Harcourt-based side who intend to stage the final round of the FIBA Africa Champions Cup competition later in the year must not underrate it semi-final foe Kada Stars who parade one of the youngest team in the playoffs.
GAME-1: Royal Hoopers 80-65 Yelwa Hawks (B)
GAME-2: Kada Stars 57-55 Comets (A)
GAME-3: Kano Pillars 76-67 Dodan Warriors (B)
GAME-4: Union Bank 63-55 Bauchi Nets (A)
GAME-5: Kano Pillars 73-74 Yelwa Hawks (B)
GAME-6: Kada Stars 67-64 Bauchi Nets (A)
GAME-7: Dodan Warriors 66-82 Royal Hoopers (B)
GAME-8: Union Bank 50-59 Comets (A)
GAME-9: Union Bank 88-71 Kada Stars (A)
GAME-10: Bauchi Nets 62-61 Comets (A)
GAME-11: Dodan Warriors 87-62 Yelwa Hawks (B)
GAME-12: Kano Pillars 79-82 Royal Hoopers (B)
Semi-Final Saturday 25/06/2011
Union Bank Vs Dodan Warriors15H00
Kada Stars Vs Royal Hoopers17H00