Rivers Hoopers on Wednesday routed Oluyole Warriors 67-42 in their second playoff game at the indoor sports hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.
Hoopers centre, Oba Orinari scored 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals while Power forward Belema Alamina contributed 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in the game.
The Port Harcourt side still fell short of their free throws but held on without too many turnovers all through the game recording a total of 8 turnovers, 14 less than what was recorded in Tuesday’s encounter against Nigeria Customs.
Before jump ball, a minute silence was observed in the honour of the former captain and coach of the Nigeria’s national football team, the Super Eagles, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi. The Big Boss as he is fondly called died in the early hours of the day.
The former champions took the lead from the opening quarter (15-18) but it was not devoid of some inadequacies that led to the game tied on three occasions in the first quarter 3:19 (10-10), 2:38 (13-13), 1:21(15-15).
Hoopers however continued from where they left off in the first with two successive shots from Alamina building a ten point lead after 2 minutes in the second quarter. Afterwards, the two sides failed to get on the offence for over 2 minutes which was later disrupted with the Port Harcourt side displaying a better offensively play thereby ending the second with a twelve point lead (21-33).
Out of sorts Warriors failed to cope with the compact defending by Hoopers who were domineering in the third and likewise in the final quarter. Alamina’s dunk with four minutes left in the clock stole the show as Hoopers held on to a convincing victory over the Ibadan based team.
Hoopers coach, Ogoh Odaudu is excited his team was able to put up an outstanding performance against Oluyole Warriors.
“They are not a weak team and they have showed they can play. It’s just that my players were a little bit angry with what happened yesterday so they had to take it on their opponent. It was unfortunate for warriors to face us after such a heartbreaking defeat to Customs yesterday.” Said Odaudu.
Other results from Day 3 of the play-off are:
Day 3 Results
Oluyole Warriors 42-67 Royal Hoopers
Delta Force 50-75 Customs
*Kwara Falcons Bye
Niger Potters 54-74 Kano Pillars
Plateau Peaks 59-63 Mark Mentors
Home Bulls 78-43 Bauchi Nets