Gombe Bulls Book Final 8 Finale Against Rivers Hoopers
By Lekan Sowande, Abuja.
Gombe Bulls beat Kano Pillars 79-67 in the semi-finals of the Nigeria Premier Basketball League Final 8 competition, setting up a showdown against the reigning champions of Nigeria Men’s Premier Basketball League, Rivers Hoopers.
The Bulls put up a convincing display against the Kano Pillars at the Indoor Sports Hall of Package B, Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja. Having suffered a second half collapse to the Hoopers on Sunday, Gombe had a six point cushion at the break before pouring an additional 44 points in the second half.
Four players registered double digits four the Bulls; Anyaoha recorded 18 points with 3 rebounds, while Ibe Agu dropped 14 points with 9 rebounds. The duo of Micheal and Sylvanus had 13 and 10 points respectively in a strong offensive display.
For Pillars, Ademola and Ibrahim could only combine for 20 points as they could only managed 57.6% from Free Throws, while Gombe recorded 82.6% in a contest that had three lead changes.
Gombe will attempt to outplay Rivers Hoopers in Tuesday’s Final, while Kano Pillars will play in the third place match against Nigeria Customs.
RIVERS HOOPERS 85 – 76 NIGERIA CUSTOMS
Earlier in the day, the reigning champions of Nigeria Men’s Premier Basketball League, Rivers Hoopers defeated Nigeria Customs 85-76 in the other semi-final of the Nigeria Basketball Federation Final 8.
Owen Oriakhi led the way for Hoopers in the decider with 24 points with 3 rebounds. Customs’ Usman Alhaji scored a game high of 25 points with 9 rebounds, followed by Osigbodi with 14 points ans Aikhuetie with 10 for Scott Nnaji’s men. Customs edged the second quarter 36-33 as they looked to upset the odds and reach the finals.
However, they fell apart under the weight of 29-point from the Hoopers that left the scoreline at 62-54 at the end of the third quarter.
Hoopers’ quartet of Anaiye, Balogun, Onyebuchi and Ezra mustered 12, 11, 10 & 10 points respectively for Ogoh Odaudu side to reach double figures. Their cause was made a bit difficult by 21-37 turnovers but won the rebound battle by a 55-37 scoreline.
With 4:10s left on the clock in the last quarter, Chimobi who had 11 points pulled a three pointer from nowhere to level the game at 70-70 for the fourth time.However, the Hoopers kept driving from end to end to eventually seal the win.