FIBA disqualifies Rivers Hoopers, Gombe Bulls defeat Civil Defenders
Rivers Hoopers have been disqualified from the ongoing FIBA Africa Champions Cup Zone 3 qualifiers, which dunked off in Lagos at the weekend.
The decision was relayed to the club by FIBA Africa Zone Three after the technical meeting for coaches and officials hours to the commencement of the tournament on Sunday.
Explaining the decision, the basketball governing body said Nigeria should have only four teams instead of the five presented by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
Reacting to the decision, NBBF’s Adamu Janlong, a technical representative on the board, said the body might protest the disqualification based on the fact that it was taken on the day the championship dunked off. The NBBF also apologised to Rivers Hoopers for the disqualification.
The Port Harcourt-based side has since returned to their base.
Meanwhile, Kator Gar powered Gombe Bulls to their first win on the continent when they defeated Civil Defenders by 76 points to 66.
The team masterminded by Coach Mohammed Abdulrahman ended the first half on a strong note, leading their fellow continental newbies by 35 point to 27.
Gombe started the second half from where they left off with Abdulwahab Yakubu weighing in with 11 points, two steals and two assists.
Former Dodan Warriors captain, Simon Owoicho also recorded 14 points, two steals and one assist for the Bulls en route their historic win.
Despite the spirited effort from Gideon Omoduku with 19 points and one assist, Defenders could not salvage a win against the much-experienced Bulls who maintained their lead all through the game.
Speaking after the game, head coach of Gombe Bulls, Mohammed Abdulrahman attributed their win to the new found belief of the team, which had to bounce back from their unimpressive display in the 2016 league season.
According to Abdulrahman, “Our target is to get to this stage after our hard work during the regular season. Anything we get going forward will be a bonus but also deserved.”
On his part, head coach of Civil Defence, Temitope Olowosulu traced their loss to the inability to clear all their players before the tournament.
Olowosulu praised his boys for showing the necessary mental strength to withstand the barrage of their opponent towards the end of the fourth quarter.
Ahead of their game against Kano Pillars today, he promised to give their more experienced side a good run for their money when they face
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