Hoops & Read, First Bank win 2019 Eko Basketball League
• Emilagba, Ishambuk are MVPs
Hoops & Read defeated Raptors Basketball Club 79 to 67 to win the men’s category of the inaugural Eko Basketball League, which ended at the weekend at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
In the women’s version, First Bank Basketball defeated Dolphins 58 to 46 to be crowed champions of the league.In the very competitive women’s game, Mary Isambuk, who emerged the most valuable player of the league, led First Bank with14 points, while her teammate, Marilyn Ogoigbe added 13 points in a game where Dolphins were limited to playing catch up for the entire 40 minutes.
Dolphins’ Cynthia Gbihi led all scorers with 17 points and three assists in the losing effort, while her team mate, Basirat Animashahun added 10 points, five rebounds and five steals to complete the quartet of players who finished in the game in double digits.On the men’s side, Hoops and Read held off a stiff challenge from the coach Charles Ibeziakor led Raptors, who kept a very close game and led three times until a fourth quarter breakdown in the last two minutes of the game.
Most Valuable Player in the men’s category, Bolaji Emilagba led all scorers with 15 of his total 27 points from three point range, adding four rebounds and four assists. His team mate, Komonibo Victor scored 19 points, and seven assists, Oriakhi Owen added 10 and a double from Aliu landed 12 points and 10 rebounds to ensure that Hoops and Read won the inaugural Eko Basketball League.
Raptors Stephen Okoro and Abel were commended for their outstanding performance from their opponent despite the loss.Chairman of the Lagos State Basketball Association, Ms. Barbara Atinuke Harper congratulated basketball stakeholders in Lagos State for a successful league season, which lasted seven months with over 150 games.
“I will love to appreciate everyone, who has been a part of this long journey that started six months ago with over 150 games in the women and men’s category. These include board, the teams, the officials and other stakeholders.
“As our commitment when we first came on board. We revamped the dead Lagos State city league with the Eko Basketball League, adding the Women’s competition for the first time. We will continue to push the frontiers of basketball development in Lagos State with both elite and grassroots programmes. This is the beginning for us,” she said.
Top dignitaries at the final included the Director General of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Oluwatoyin Gafar; Legendary National Basketball coach and Former Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Council, Mr. Agboola Pinheiro; Nigeria Olympic Committee Secretary General, Mr. Banji Oladapo; Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (Lagos chapter), Mr. Debo Oshundun; Chairman Lagos State Basketball Veterans Club, Alhaji Yaro amongst others graced the occasion.
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