Bolaji Emilagba had a game-high 19 points and the Rivers Hoopers demolished Ebun Comets 82-54 at the Nigeria Premier Basketball League Conference 8 on Wednesday in Akure.
Buchi Nwaiwu added 12 points, Michael Daramola had 11 and Victor Mohammed also had 11 in the game, mostly dominated by Rivers Hoopers.
Hoopers shook off a slow start to the game and made their first basket 5 minutes into the first quarter. Emilagba shot back-to-back threes to lead the Comets 17-12 going into the second quarter.
Emilagba said, ”The game started slow for us, but we later picked up towards the end of the first quarter and we never looked back.”
”We stepped up our defense they had a shooter that shot some threes in the first quarter, so we caught him off and took care of other things, and we were able to get the win.”
After a 13-2 run, Hoopers struggled on the offensive end with a scoreless run for 3 minutes. With 1:49 minutes remaining, Daramola made a huge dunk to get the Hoopers back on track.
Emilagba praised the team coached by former D’Tigers coach Ayodele Bakare for a resilient display in the second half.
”They are being coached by one of the best coaches in Nigeria.
“After the first quarter, he must have seen a lot that we were doing, and he probably instructed his boys on how to defend us, but we also made sure they were not scoring too.”
With 2:16 remaining in the third, the KingsMen increased the lead to 21 points (56-35) and further extended it to 61-39 going into the final quarter.
Comets had no chance in the fourth and were ravaged by injuries as they recorded a second consecutive defeat in the Nigeria Premier Basketball League Atlantic Conference 8.
It is the second time in two months that Hoopers have emerged victorious over Comets since the Louis Edem Invitational Championship in Lagos in September.
The four-time Nigeria League champions will face Hoops & Read on Thursday.
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Lagos Legends on standby