Otukpo — Pioneer Reunion basketball club of Portharcourt and First Deep Water basketball club of Lagos have won the 2013 edition of 'Mark D Ball' basketball championship in the male and female categories respectively.
In the final matches decided at the Otukpo basketball court, Pioneer overcame ESPN in a close contest that saw the losing side earning 20 points against Pioneer's 13 after the first quarter.
The tide changed in the second quarter as Pioneer raced to a 31:29 score tally, but the Okpe Ocheibi inspired ESPN regained control in the third quarter to go into the final quarter 42:41 leaders.
However, exceptional performance from Pioneer's point guard; Ujor Anyebe, saw the Portharcourt side ending the game 63:59 winners. Anyebe and Azunna Dike scored an amazing 14 and 15 points respectively to earned their team their hard-earned win.
The captain of Pioneer, who scored 13 points, Usman Musa, told Daily Trust at the end of the encounter that the understanding within the team on court was the major key for their success.
On the other hand, ESPN coach, Willis Ella, congratulated the wining side for a deserving victory, adding that the two sides played well.ESPN captain, Embargo Alhassan, who expressed disappointment with the loss, said his side took solace in the fact that they got to the final.
"All my shooters' shots were not going in today. I think that was our major problem. We had a great game. We had all the rebounds but our shots were just not going in."
In the Female category, First Deep Water defeated Rocker of Jos 77:44 in a one sided final.Magdalene Ukato, who went on to win the Most Valuable Player of the competition in the female category, was the star of the night.She said after the game that her team's superior experience was what separated the two sides. Deep Water are Nigerian champions and number in Africa.
Meanwhile, Full Force of Abuja defeated Apa Flames 46:34 in the male third place match played earlier while Pearls of Lagos beat FCT Angels 23:20 in the Female category.
The winners in the male and female categories of the competition went home with a cash prize of N600.000 each, second place teams received N400.000 while third place teams got N200.000 each.