Rivers Hoopers tipped off their Conference six playoffs campaign with a 70-56 win over Nigeria Customs at the Indoor Sports Hall, Kwara Stadium, Ilorin on Tuesday.
Ronald Alalibo had 15 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals, Solomon Ajegbeyi added 13 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists while Somto Managor contributed 10 points.
Hoopers joined Kwara Falcons and Hoops & Read as the winners of match day one at the ongoing Atlantic Conference six playoffs of the 2017 Kwese Premier Basketball League.
It was a close game between the two Atlantic Conference sides in the first quarter which ended in a tie 18-18.The KingsMen however stretched the lead by 10 points heading to half time (38-28).
Alalibo made 4 of 7 from the arc and in total, Hoopers could only make 7 of 21 from the arc. Both teams were guilty of committing turnovers in the game.
While Hoopers had 31, Customs suffered 24 turnover balls and the Lagos based side were able to capitalize on Hoopers deficiencies especially in the third quarter.
Three Customs players led the way as Jibril Baba scored 13 points, Seyi Ayodele made 12 points and 2 rebounds while Dike Madina had 10 points and 9 rebounds.
But it was barely enough to turn things in their favour against the former champions.
Hoopers coach Ogoh Odaudu was happy his team won their first game in the Conference six playoffs.
“It was great one for us first games are always very difficult everybody trying to get familiar with the environment, strange court, rim etc and because it’s the first game everyone is tensed,” he said.
“We struggled a bit but at the end of the day we were able to control of things. I am really happy we have passed this first test.” said Odaudu.
Hoopers will next face Hoops & Read on Wednesday at 4 pm, while Police Baton will play Nigeria Customs at 12pm, and Oluyole Warriors will take on high flying Kwara Falcons at 2pm.