Rivers Hoopers avoided back to back losses on Saturday with a 78-71 win over Oluyole Warriors Basketball Club in Ibadan.
Solomon Ajegbeyi led three Hoopers starters in double figures with a game high 18 points, grabbing 4 rebounds and recording 3 assists.
Other players who contributed in double figures are Somtochukwu Managor with 13 points and 3 assists, Id Ogan with 11 points and 3 steals while Emmanuel Balogun added 10 points and 3 rebounds.
The KingsMen ended the first quarter with a 4-0 run with back to back shots from Id Ogan and Ronald Alalibo respectively. The opening quarter was tied four times and the only time in the entire game with only one lead change.
The Port Harcourt side however limited the Warriors to a scoreless run 3 minutes into the second, building a ten point lead with 4:21 seconds remaining.
It was however reduced after a series of turnovers from the visitors committing a total of 14 heading to the break.
The Warriors who outscored the Port Harcourt side in the third quarter (21-19) also had four players who finished in double figures. Richard Odo led the way with 16 points, 2 rebounds and 3 steals.
Afolabi Bolaji added 13 points and outrebounded other players from both teams with 9 rebounds. Kelvin Odo and Moses Okpoye both contributed 10 points apiece.
Warriors hit 4 of 11 3-pointers against the Port Harcourt side dishing out 16 assists on 26 field goals limiting the visitors to 19 points in the third quarter.
The home side attempted to reduce the points deficit at 71 -74 with 1:02 seconds remaining and stretch the game to overtime but were let down by a number of misses and turned over balls.
Ajegbeyi’s 3 of 4 free throws success ensured Hoopers left Ibadan with a deserved victory.
After the game, Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu commended his boys for the victory.
“It was a better way to bounce back. All away games are not easy, they are very very difficult,” he stressed.
“I give a lot of kudos to the guys today because they played with a lot of heart. I am proud to be their coach.
“If you ask me to pick the most improved team in the League, I will pick the Warriors because they were on a streak before today’s game. They have won three straight games against tough oppositions. I was a little bit scared going into the game but I was hoping their players didn’t click and I am happy they didn’t. It is a good plus for me,” Oduadu added.
Hoopers will now head to Lagos next week to take on NAF Rockets on Thursday before a tricky tie with Hoops&Read on Saturday.