Rivers Hoopers ended the 2015/2016 DSTV Basketball league on a high after a 59-57 victory over Atlantic Conference leaders Kwara Falcons clinch them third place at the National playoffs in Lagos on Saturday.
Victor Atisele scored 13 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist while Ronald Alalibo also contributed the same 13 points while adding 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Port Harcourt side started with a brilliant first quarter (15-9) building up a ten point lead with less than 2 minutes in the second quarter (23-13) though Falcons reduced the point gap with a 4-0 run (27-21).
However, it was an evenly contested game in the second half with so many lead changes and 9 in total in the entire game. One of the high point of the third was when Alalibo made 3 out of 5 of his three point shots executing back to back 3 pointers with less than 30 seconds to play in the third.
The final quarter had the two teams on their toes all through and the Ilorin side almost ran away as winners with less than 50 seconds left to play 55-57. It was Belema Alamina’s pair of free throws that first evened the scores again (57-57) before a drive down the basket (59-57) turned the decider and clinched victory for Hoopers over Kwara Falcons.
Rivers Hoopers thus finished in a respectable third position in their first season back in the elite division. In the final game, Kano Pillars beat Nigeria Customs 71-53 to reclaim the basketball title after losing out to Mark Mentors last season.
MVP- Abubakar Usman of Kano Pillars
Best Rebounder – Enan Wilfried of Kwara Falcons
Fair play- Kwara Falcons
Best assist- Ibrahim Yusuf of Kano Pillars
Top 5 players of the final playoffs
Abdul Yahaya , Pillars
Dele Ademola – Kano Pillars
Quenum Romaric- Nigeria Customs
Abubakar usman – Kano Pillars
Enan Wilfried- Kwara Falcons