23 June 2007

NIGERIA : Union Bank in narrow win,beat Warriors 92-91

Game-1 playoffs of the grand finale of the 3rd Lagos City league lived up to its billing Thursday as fans defied the strike action called by the Nigeria Labour Congress to cheer their darling teams in the first match of the Best-3-Series between Union Bank basketball club and Dodan Warriors basketball club at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Lagos National Stadium.

The match started with both side adopting more offensive style of play which saw the Stallion Boys as the bankers are known winning the first quarter with just a point margin of 28-27 points, the Warriors players living to their name ‘warriors’ came back forcefully in the second quarter to upturn the table winning the quarter by 27-22 to end the first half 54-50 in its favour.

The third and fourth quarter proved decisive as Union Bank spurred on by former Nigeria Junior International point guard, Sola Alayande who scored 15 points for his side but provided good court coordination winning the third quarter 18-10 points and curtailed the Warriors enterprising off guard and Junior Tigers invitee, Mohammed Bukar who led the floor with 27 points.

Though the Owoicho Alexander coached Warriors won the fourth quarter by 27-24 points but the bankers experience came to bear as Alayande and his gang match-up the youthful Warriors players in the dying seconds of the tension soaked encounter to seal game-1 victory by 92-91 points.

With the first win by Union Bank, Alayande has vowed to end the series in game-2 but Bukar and his colleagues are saying no to this and have promised Gboyega Vidal and his players real battle Saturday during the game-2 billed to dunk-off at 16.00-hour local time.

Other players who had their name on the score-sheet with a double figure, for Union Bank forward Kingsley Aguara led his teammate with 20points, team captain and former Comets guard, Rasheed Bello added 16 while the trio of Alayande, Cameroon import William Ndoumbe and Lious Edem Ekpeyang contributed 15, 13 and 12 points respectively.

Bukar with 23 points was the highest by any player from both sides but it was not enough to secure victory for the Warriors, with the duo of Nosa Omorogbe and Michael Uma-Okoro adding 20and 19 points.

The third place match between defending champion, Kennys’ Bullets basketball club and former Nigeria premier league champion, Ebun Comets basketball club slated for 14,00 hours Saturday also promises the trapping of a losers final match as players of Comets coached by former Nigeria national team handler, Ayo Bakare says the Bullets coached by two former Comets players (Ogoh Odaudu and Lateef Erinfolami) would not beat them a third time this season.

By Seinde Ikuesan

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