Rivers Hoopers rebounded from Thursday’s loss to Kwara Falcons with a comfortable 79-61 points win over Ibadan based, Oluyole Warriors on Saturday in Port Harcourt.
Belema Alamina led three other KingsMen on double figures with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Emmanuel Balogun added 13 points and 3 rebounds with 2 steals, Ronald Alalibo contributed 10 points while Friday Haruna had 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.
Alamina who did not feature in the loss to Kwara Falcons had some heroic moments in the game. With 4 minutes left to play in the second quarter, the forward took no time before he scored 10 points with a 5-0 run.
The Mechanical Engineering graduate also made triple dunks in a row in the fourth quarter forcing the crowd off their feet while working in synch with the experienced Anyebe Ujoh who recorded 5 assists in the game.
The Warriors also had their brilliant moments especially in the third quarter when they outscored their hosts 20-26 points but still trailed by 13 points heading to the fourth due to the excessive damage done by Hoopers in the first half.
Odo Richard had a game high 18 points, and 9 rebounds for the Warriors, Moses Okpoye added 15 points and 3 assists while Owolabi Sulaiman had 13 points and 4 rebounds to go with it for the visitors.
Hoopers guard, Balogun who had a disappointing game on Thursday got back to his groove on Saturday, scoring 10 points for the Port Harcourt side with 3:12 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The KingsMen looked different than they were on Thursday, better in shooting and defense against the visitors from Ibadan. Balogun’s 3-point shot before the buzzer with 14 seconds remaining worsened the damage control method deployed by the away side who finally converted the two free throws, putting an end to the week 10 tie of the Kwese Premier Basketball League.
Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu was magnanimous in victory, hailing his team’s opponents for their improvement in recent times.
“Oluyole are a very good team, they have improved so far. I think they were on a six or seven games winning streak before today so you could see they are not an easy team. We managed to beat them in their gym and since then they have not lost.
“Even the Kwara Falcons that beat us here were beaten in Ibadan. They are not as bad as they look today. They should be in the third or fourth position now. I think it was our fire power that was more than theirs today,” said Odaudu .
Hoopers will next play NAF Rockets and Hoops & Read on Thursday and Saturday next week respectively.