Shooting guard Ronald Alalibo had 14 points to help Rivers Hoopers beat Kwara Falcons 61-58 on Friday in Port Harcourt. It was Falcons’ first defeat of the 2016 Nigeria Basketball season.
Despite trailing in the first quarter (10-12) and second (29-30), the former champions bounced back to a 43-40 in the final seconds of the third but were stunned with a 3 pointer from the visitors, which levelled the game (43-43) with 0.3 seconds remaining.
Moses Godffrey who was introduced late towards the end of third quarter, made positive contribution particularly in his defensive rebounds thereby turning the game around in favour of the home team.
Hoopers shooting guard, Ronald Alalibo however completed two free throws with the game tied at 59-58 after he was fouled with 0.11 seconds remaining in the last quarter.
An excited Hoopers coach, Ogoh Odaudu felt like a Steve Kerr breaking Falcons unbeaten record on his home court.
“I am feeling like the Golden State Warriors right now who went to break one record. We have just ended Kwara Falcons’ unbeaten run. We should play better tomorrow because we didn’t play well today to be honest, it was just luck that made us win”, Odaudu admitted after the keenly contested game.
Inspite of his first loss of the season, Kwara Falcons coach, Adewunmi Aderemi was proud of his boys.
“It is just basketball you can’t win all the time. Sometimes you have to experience defeat in order to prepare for another game and also make the necessary corrections. This is our first defeat of the season, it’s a very good loss and am proud of my boys,” said Aderemi.
Rivers Hoopers were due to play against Kwara Falcons in the second game of the tie on Saturday at the basketball court on 59, Niger street off Lagos bus stop, Port Harcourt.