20 March 2006

NIGERIA: Vmobile league - Islanders stop Delta Force

Former Nigeria premier league champion, Islanders basketball club of Lagos last weekend got the better of visiting Delta Force basketball club of Asaba in a thrilling enmcounter that kept the fans on the edge of their seat for the better part of the game.

The week-one encounter which saw the Coach Toyin Sonoiki tutored Islanders side that parades a mixture of young and experience players picking the first two quarters with a slim margin of 16-15 and 15-14 for a 31-29 points at half-time.

The third quarters started with the Coach Lateef Erinfolami boys from Asaba approaching the game with all seriousness which gave them the third quarter with 20-17 points does gaining the upper hand for the first time, the third quarter lose saw the Islanders boys powered by forward Joshua Agbona and guard Michael Ogheneme who came out strongly in the fourth and final quarter to amazement of the Delta Force team who seems lost for idea on how to counter the Islanders.

With the former Nigeria four-peat champion falling back on the experience of Christopher Okoh who was acquire from city rival Dodan Warriors basketball club with good combination from teammates with every one knowing what is expected of him from guards to the front court players who boxed out and clear the board when necessary the Delta Force could not provide answers to what hit them as they lost the decisive quarter by 18-14 points for a cumulative scores of 66-63 points.

Ogheneme led the Islanders side in scoring with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals followed by Okoh with 14 points, 7 rebounds and one steal with Agbona contributing 9 points and 6 rebounds and the Delta Force side it was young Sati Gombwer that led his team in scoring with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists, while Gabriel Joseph contributed 11 points and 3 rebounds.

As Warriors Shot down Union Bank 78-73 in OT

The encounter between Vmobile Challenge defending champion, Union Bank basketball club and city rival Dodan Warriors basketball club is one game that pairs experience and youthful exuberant against themselves.

With the lose of most reliable hands in the Warriors fold, the Col. Sam Ahmedu (rtd) led management of the Dodan warriors Project fell back to its Warriors Academy to shop for replacement which it got in abundant but whether will be able to adapt to the nitty-gritty of the premier league is another ball game.

Their week-one pairing against Union bank has generated mixed reaction from a cross section of basketball fans whom before the first jump-ball between Ebun Comets another side with young team and old war horse Customs which the former won by 8 points margin many had thought that the trio of Comets Warriors and Islanders would kiss their canvas in their respective league opener against a more experience a solid sides as the Customs and Union Bank.

But the reverse was the case when Comets first humbled their more experience foe last Saturday to the bewilderment of many basketball followers and the surprised 78-73 points win of Warriors over Union Bank proved rather more surprising even to the Warriors players who could not believed what they achieved on that cold Sunday night before a capacity crowd who thronged the Sports Hall of the Lagos National Stadium to watch what remains of the team.

The youthful Warriors side had started the game in their usual aggressive style of play winning the first quarter 19-18 points but went down to the more experience Union Bank team who picked the second quarter 11-09 points for a 29-28 points lead at the end of the first half.

The third quarter saw a more determined Warriors coming back strongly into the game winning in style with 22-21 points to even scores at 50 points apiece to set up a big showdown for the fourth and final quarter.

The Union Bank team relying much on the experince play of former international Ayodeji Samuel, Sola Alayande skipper Kingsley Omoenu to rattle the young Warriors side who could only bank on the leadership role provided by Chris Nomigo but were forced into over time play when guard Seyi Ayodele took an all important buzzer shot to tie the game at 66 points apiece.

The resultant five minutes over time was like the tonic the Warriors boys needed as they out play the Union Bank team in almost all department of the game of 12-07 points for a cumulative score of 78-73 points.

Union Bank Ayodeji Samuel led his team and the entire floor with 18 points, 8 rebounds, skipper Kingsley Omoenu contributed 15 points and 2 assist, Shola Alayande and Moses Dawodu added 13 points each while Anyebe Alexandra had his name on the scorere chart for the Bankers with 10 points and 2 rebounds.

On the Warriors side it was guard Seyi Ayodele who led his other teammates on the scorers chart with 16 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists, youthful forward Edwin added 13 points and grabbed 9 rebounds while another rookie Michael scored a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.

And from the Savannah Conference: Plateau Peaks recording the very first away win in the real sence of the pairing beating AHIP Giant basketball club of Kano 60-51 points

while old war horse kano Pillars defeated visiting Yelwa Hawks of Bauchi 53-32 points.

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