Kwese Basketball League: Hoopers dunk past Police Baton


Rivers Hoopers made up with a bit of struggle but eventually overcame relegation threatened Police Baton 77-72 points on Thursday at the Basketball Court on Niger Street, Port Harcourt.
The heroes of the game were no doubt, Solomon Ajegbeyi (17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists) and Emmanuel Balogun (14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists).
The kingsMen fought from start to finish and were almost stretched to overtime as Hoopers failed to build a dominant lead like they did in their last 3 games against Baton who came out all defensive.
Thursday’s game served as a warm-up for Ajegbeyi and Balogun who will be facing their former side, Customs on Saturday. They both at one time or the other came to the aid of the team, making sure the Port Harcourt side remain unbeaten in the last six contests.
Three Police Baton players scored double figures, Kevin Dandison (game high 21 points, 3 rebounds), Tella Malik (14 points, 8 rebounds) and Tolani Buhari (12 points, 5 assists).
The entire game was tied on 7 occasions with 4 lead changes but more crucially, the visitors made a three point shot to tie the game 71-71 with 50 seconds left on the clock. Efforts to snatch victory by Police Baton however proved abortive as Balogun delivered each time he got to the free throw line.
The former Customs guard made 5/5 of his free throws with 8 seconds left to play after been fouled twice.
Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu expressed his dissatisfaction with his team’s approach to the game but was more than impressed with the level of play from his Lagos opponents.
“It’s a victory we will go away with and be happy we won. But I am not happy with the way we played. We beat this team twice in their home only for us to come back and struggle to beat them here.”
“If we bring such an approach in our next game against Customs then we are in a big trouble. This is something we have to rectify before Saturday,” Odaudu stated.
“Police Baton played very well. I must say I am very impressed. This is the best I have seen Police Baton play in a very long while,” he added.
Police Baton coach,  Emeka Oputa said they were not drawn aback by their opponent’s standings on the log but came with the approach to beat Hoopers on home court.
“We are playing against a team leading the table, the best team in the Conference.  We are on 6th, they are on 1st position it shows the gap between both of us. But we came to Port Harcourt knowing this team is beatable,” he said.
Hoopers guard, Emmanuel Balogun thinks his team underrated their opponents.
“We underrated them. They came prepared and we didn’t start well. We already had 3-0 against them and it has been easy for us beating them. The game came tough and we never expected such approach from them (but) we all stayed positive that we were going to win the game.”
Rivers Hoopers will entertain Nigeria Customs on Saturday in their last home game of the 2016/2017 Kwese Premier Basketball League

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