By Sunny Canto
In a recent development that pave way for sixteen Nigeria Basketball Men's teams, which eliminated some in the regular season before the Finals showpiece today in Abuja.
The Kings Men, also known as Rivers Hoopers of Port-Harcourt humiliated Gombe Bulls 74-57 in the Final game, giving them the sole ticket to return to Basketball Africa League.
Exceptional Anaiye Johnson, received the overall MVP, aftermath excellent performance against Gombe Bulls opponent, as he scored 12pts, 5rebs, 6ast, 1blk while Victor Koko amass 14pts, 10rebs, 4blk as Owen recorded 10pts, 8rebs.
Shockingly, Bulls who lead after the opening quarter 22-16 but Ogoh Odaudu's men came from behind to edge with five points 36-31 at the end of second quarter then followed by strong defensive and offensive efforts to upset Coach Abdulrahman Bulls.
Despite Abubakar Yakubu game high of 18pts, Bulls couldn't withstand the third quarter heat, as a result lost out on rebounds thereby finishing 39-45; before succumbing to well determine rivals in a 57-74 encounter.
Coach Ogor Odaudu, "Kudos to our Permanent Secretary for ensuring we feature at the BAL qualifier, despite the short notice he propelled us to represent Rivers Government and we're ready to do well @BAL tourney" he assured.
In the third place match, Kano Pillars won Customs 82-64 points to settle for bronze medal spots.
Grabbing prestigious prizes and awards at the finale were Bright Akhutie of Nigeria Customs who was adjudged the tournament best rebounder, Owen Oriakhi of Rivers Hoopers scored the highest points, Abubakar Yakubu (Gombe) was the best three pointer while Kwara Falcons won the fair play award.
Hoopers duo of Anaiye Johnson & Owen Oriakhi together with Wisdom Anyaoha (Gombe), Bright Akhutie (Customs), Micheal Lordprince (Kwara Falcons) and were all selected as the championship best five in the event witnessed by the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, Daniel Amokachi, Ministry Officials, Ace Comedian and Actor: Ibu and other stakeholders.
Finally, apart from the entertainments, some lucky Three point and Free shooters where awarded cash prizes, shoes, jersey; but sports buff believe soon Basketball will return to his past glory.