Kano Pillars have failed to make it to the final of the ongoing Nigeria Men’s Premier Basketball League Final 8 as they fell 67-79 to Savannah Conference rivals Gombe Bulls at the indoor Hall of the Moshood Abiola National stadium in Abuja on Monday’s evening.
Gombe Bulls left no one in doubt that they intend to win the Final 8 and also secure Basketball Africa League qualification with a resilient performance that saw them edge out their Savannah Conference rivals with a convincing 67-79 victory in the second semifinal match of the Final 8 to meet Rivers Hoopers in the final on Tuesday.
Having suffered a second half collapse to Hoopers on Sunday, Gombe had a six-point cushion at the break before pouring additional 44pts in the second half.
The Bulls had four players that registered double digits. Anyaoha dropped 18 pts, 3 rebounds, Ibe Agu 14pts, 9 rebounds, while the duo of Micheal and Sylvanus had 13 & 10 in a strong offensive display. For Pillars, Ademola and Ibrahim could only combine for 20 as they could only manage 57.6 from Free Throws while Gombe recorded 82.6 percent in a contest that had three lead changes.
Gombe will attempt to outrun Rivers Hoopers in Tuesday’s Final while Pillars will play in the third place match against Customs.
Rivers Hoopers defeated Nigeria Customs 85-76 in the first semi-final game played at the Indoor Sports Hall, Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Monday.
Hoopers guard Owen Oriakhi led the way for the KingsMen with a team high 24 points, 4 assists with 3 three-pointers and shot 7/8 from the line.
The KingsMen had other 5 players in double figures, Johnson Anaiye (12 points), Emmanuel Balogun (11 points), Solomon Ajegbeyi (10 points) and Buchi Nwaiwu (10 points) all impressed in the win.
Nwaiwu and Ajegbeyi were one short from a double-double after grabbing 9 rebounds each in the game while Balogun led in assists (7).
Rivers Hoopers head coach, Ogoh Odaudu, expects a difficult game against Gombe Bulls.
“Gombe’s game will be difficult because we beat them yesterday and they won’t want to go down to us twice in two days. It will be a very explosive game, up tempo game even though we are not a Kano Pillars team they can out run. In the end, it will be whoever that wants it more that would take it.”‘