Nigerian Premier Basketball League action hits the home stretch with seven games of the regular season to be played, before the commencement of the playoffs.
In the Atlantic Conference, table topping Rivers Hoopers and second-place Kwara Falcons; have set the pace this season regularly interchanging positions at the top, making it virtually a two-horse race.
Indeed, it has being an impressive return to the top league for Rivers Hoopers, who got demoted a couple of seasons ago, only making the upgrade to the Atlantic Conference at the start of the current season. The team coached by Ogoh Odaudu have played some impressive basketball, thanks largely to the contributions of Solomon Ajegbeyi, Emmanuel Balogun, Ikechukwu Benjamin, who all have been outstanding.
Kwara Falcons were the first team in the league-both Atlantic and Savannah Conference, to hit 1000-points this season. The dominant Ilorin-based team proudly hold on to the conference remaining unbeaten home record, ending Rivers Hoopers invincibility on their home court in Port Harcourt a fortnight ago.
Experienced Coach Aderemi Adewunmi has being instrumental to the steady progress of Kwara Falcons this season. His playing personnel which includes the impressive trio of Mojubaoluwa Oyeleye, David Godwin and Osaisi Godspower, have all worked magic both home and away as they look to close in on the one-point difference between themselves and the leaders.
Debutants Hoops and Reads, sponsored by former Nigerian international, Olumide Oyedeji, are having a swell time in their first-ever season in the top league. The team coached by Oso Charles are third on the table, and have been impressive with their breath-taking performances on the court.
The Lagos-based club, one of four in the Atlantic Conference, will do well to keep the core of the team in the coming season, particularly Komonibo Victor, Balogun Ifeoluwa and Emilagab Bolaji.
Experienced campaigners, Nigeria Customs in fourth-place, have blown hot-and-cold this season much to the frustration of their teeming and loyal fans. Coach Scot Nnaji with all his exposure at local and international level has done his best to keep the squad motivated and competitive, despite obvious challenge’s facing the team. Young breed, Okiki Afuwape Michael has being the standout player of the Border Boys, mentored by veteran forwards Seun Akinwale and Ayodele Ahmed.
Oluyole Warriors have been the giant killers this season, defeating top teams at will home and away, but have consistently failed to rise to the occasion when it matters most, which explains their fifth-place on the table.
Police Baton are in sixth-place and should do well to avoid a scrappy relegation battle. Ayanlere Kamal, Okafor Frank and Kelvin Dandison have stood out from the rest of the team this season with impressive performances.
Delta Force and NAF Rockets make up the rest of the Atlantic Conference, occupying seventh and eighth-place respectively. It will take more than appearances on the court for games for these two to beat the drop at the end of the season.