Basketball

NBBF Final 8: Rivers Hoopers beat Kano Pillars to book semifinal spot

Rivers Hoopers dug deep to beat Kano Pillars 69-67 in double overtime in Game 3 of the NBBF Final 8 in Lagos on Wednesday.

Hoopers Captain Victor Anthony Koko was pivotal in the victory over Pillars as he led at both ends of the court.

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Just like he made a double-double in Game 2, Koko scored 19 points and 14 rebounds with three blocks to go with it. He also hit 2/3 from the deep and 7-of-9 from the freethrow line in 34 minutes.

Bright Akhuetie and Mustapha Oyebanji scored 13 points each in the game for the Port Harcourt club.

Oyebanji hit back to back threes that helped the KingsMen fight back late in the fourth.

Koko made clutch free throws with 15 seconds remaining to tie the game 59 -59 which took the game to overtime.

The game stretched further to another overtime after the two sides managed to score 4 points each (63-63).

Rivers Hoopers ensured they wrapped up the victory in the second overtime and handed Kano Pillars their second consecutive defeat in this tournament.

As a result, the KingsMen have qualified for the semi finals of the NBBF Final 8, but  have a final group game against Benue Braves on Thursday at 12pm.

After the game, Head coach of Rivers Hoopers, Ogoh Odaudu was not completely satisfied with his team’s performance.

Odaudu said: “We are happy we won this game but in reality we did not play a very good game. we had a lot of things we did not do right hopefully as the competition progresses we are going to get better but for today I am happy with the win, we escaped with the win we have to go back to the drawing board to see what we can do going forward.”

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