Rivers Hoopers remain unbeaten and will play in the inaugural NBA backed Basketball Africa League next March after they beat local favourites Raptors 97-57 in the final of the NBBF President Cup at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos on Sunday.
Reflecting on the feat that saw his team go through both phases in Ilorin and the Final 8 undefeated, Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu struggled to put his feelings into words.
“Excited would be an understatement,” Odaudu said. “If there was another word to use to categorise how I feel right now but unfortunately my English is not that good so I can’t find the right word right now.”
“But all in all, we say thank God everything worked out for us. We are very proud and honoured to have won this championship, we are especially more proud to be Nigeria’s representatives at the first-ever NBA Basketball League. I think that itself is more than the trophy. We are very happy”
Ikechukwu Benjamin scored 20 points, three rebounds, one assist and two steals, Victor Anthony had 15 points and 12 rebound double-double while Solomon Ajegbeyi added 11 points, four rebounds and two assists for the KingsMen.
Abdul Yahaya who bagged nine points and four rebounds against Raptors was named the Most Valuable Player and also made the team of the tournament alongside Godwin David (Kwara Falcons), Gabriel Erameh (Niger Potters), Ginikachukwu Godspower (Raptors) and Ikechukwu Godwin (Rivers Hoopers).
“I want to give thanks to the glory of God and appreciate my teammates for everything because without my teammates I can’t be the MVP or one of the best five players in the tournament. All glory goes to God and kudos to my teammates and my coaches. The real MVP is my coaches and my fellow players. Not just me, we are all MVPs,” Yahaya said.
Ebuka Innocent of Raptors carted home the prize for the Highest Rebounder while Victor Anthony was named Highest blocked shots winner.
Oyebanji Mustapha (Kwara Falcons) emerged the highest scorer of the competition while Ginikachukwu Godpower (Raptors) took home the gong for the Most Three Points made.
Earlier, Kwara Falcons beat Niger Potters 78-77 in the third-place playoff of the NBBF President Cup.