Three-time Nigeria Basketball League champions, Rivers Hoopers defeated Nigeria Customs 85-76 in the first semi-final to book a place in the final of the Federal Ministry for Youth & Sports Development (FMYSD) Final 8.
Rivers Hoopers will now tackle Gombe Bulls in the final of the ongoing FMYSD Final 8 at the Indoor Sports Hall, Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
Hoopers guard Owen Oriakhi led the way for the KingsMen with a team-high 24 points, 4 assists with 3 three-pointers and shot 7/8 from the line.
The KingsMen had other 5 players on double figures, Johnson Anaiye (12 points), Emmanuel Balogun (11 points), Solomon Ajegbeyi (10 points) and Buchi Nwaiwu (10 points) all impressed in the win.
Nwaiwu and Ajegbeyi were one short of a double-double after grabbing 9 rebounds each in the game while Balogun led in assists (7).
Rivers Hoopers made 9 three-pointers, shot 22/29 from the line and out-rebounded Customs 55-37.
Rivers Hoopers Basketball Club is one win away from sealing the Basketball Africa League slot, as they will need to surpass the Gombe Bulls hurdle on Tuesday.
Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu expects a difficult game tomorrow (Tuesday) against Gombe Bulls.
“Gombe’s game will be difficult tomorrow because we beat them yesterday and they won’t want to go down to us twice in two days. It will be a very explosive game, the up-tempo game even though we are not a Kano Pillars team they can outrun. In the end, it will be whoever that wants it more that would take it.”‘
Gombe Bulls beat Kano Pillars 79-67 in the other semifinal game.