Rivers Hoopers booked a semifinal spot in the 2015/2016 DSTV Basketball League Final 8 Play0ffs after a routine 65-48 points victory over Oluyole Warriors, thereby eliminating the Ibadan side from the competition.
Oba Orinari and Belema Alamina replicated their displays in Monday’s win over Gombe Bulls by racking home 14 and 13 points respectively.
Orinari added 3 rebounds while Alamina contributed 6 rebounds and 1 assist. Also among the front runners for the Hoopers on Tuesday was Ronald Alalibo who completed the cast of double digit scorers, contributing 11 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist in the game decided at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere.
As compared to the domineering performance on Monday, the former champions had a less convincing game against Warriors starting slowly from the first quarter and also in the second but were able to maintain a slim lead in the first half of game (15-13, 25-24).
At different occasions in the opening two quarters, the game was tied on point five times. (3:60* 7-7, 1:52* 13-13, 8:31*15-15, 4:23* 19-19).
This was however halted as Hoopers came back blazing after half time starting with Alamina’s dunk in 9:25 of the third coupled with triple 3 point shot from Ronald Alalibo, Victor James and Victor Atisele leading to their biggest scoring run 8-0 (30-39) with less than 2 minutes in the third.
Atisele’s 3 pointer extended Hoopers lead with less than 5 seconds before the buzzer (46-33).
The job was however wrapped up in the fourth as Hoopers maintained their lead by adding 16 additional points leaving Warriors with no chance but to bow out of Group B with no wins out of their two games played in the Final 8 play offs in Lagos.
Rivers Hoopers coach, Ogoh Odaudu gave his opinion on the Final 8 Play Offs.
“Kano Pillars are a fantastic team, Customs have come out strong while Kwara Falcons are Conference leaders and there is no team that is easy now. The competition will get tougher from now on. Oluyole Warriors whom we beat convincingly during the conference playoff some weeks back gave us a tough fight and we had to struggle to play against them.” said Odaudu.
Hoopers will next play Kano Pillars on Wednesday at 6pm to determine who tops Group B.
Niger Potters 73-69 Plateau Peaks
Kano Pillars 75-55 Gombe Bulls
Customs 57 -52 Kwara Falcons