Basketball premier league – Impressions of Delta earn first win

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Impressions club of Delta state defeated Invaders of Ekiti 73-65 at the ongoing 2023 Nigeria Basketball Premier League at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan.

The victory was the first for the Delta-based club after losing their first two games at the competition.

They had lost 42-48 to Oluyole Warriors on Sunday, and 35-60 to Ebun Comets on Monday.

Speaking on their match, Kenneth Mfon, the head coach of Impressions club, said the match was a tough one as both teams looked evenly balanced..

“My boys are very young and inexperienced and that was why we lost our match against Ebun Comets on Monday.

Ebun Comets used their experience to win the match.

“But in the competition so far we’ve gained a lot, as the young boys are learning so much. With what I’m seeing now, in the next two years they would have improved tremendously.

“Winning this match will now serve as a morale-booster for them and spur them to be more focused in the remaining matches.

“So, if the other teams refuse to take their advantage, we may get into the top four for a qualification ticket,” he said.

Olusola Aluko, the head coach of Invaders of Ekiti on his part said after their loss that the situation was akin to any game of sports.

”It can go either way, and it’s not that we haven’t done what we are expected to do.”

Aluko however said some of his players were tired, as they were already feeling the stress of playing everyday.

“This is our fourth game in four days, playing one game every day. It has been strenuous.

“We played against Kwara Falcons on Tuesday and it was a bit tough and we lost by six points.

”It was the last game of Tuesday and we have now played the first game of Wednesday.

“Technically the players were not up to the game and we (the team’s coaches) had to start  forcing them and doing all sorts of things till they started waking up in the second half.

“We all know that players can be very funny even when you’re motivating and waking them up to the game they can act otherwise,” he said.

The coach also said that his players were the youngest at the competition, going by the composition of all teams here in Ibadan.

“We just finished playing a well-known team (Ebun Comets) and they are more technically-inclined, and coached by the legendary Ayo Bakare. They are a tough contender.

“Bakare is  well-grounded coach, who’s helped Nigeria win medals. I’m happy that we played against his team and I was able to tap from his knowledge of basketball,” he said.

Seven clubs are participating in the competition at the Ibadan Centre of the Atlantic Conference of the league.

The other clubs participating in the league at the Ibadan Centre are  Hoops and Reads and Kwara Falcons.

Action in the competition will resume on Thursday with Ondo Raiders taking on Oluyole Warriors, Impressions facing Hoops and Reads and Kwara Falcons facing the Invaders.