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Rivers Hoopers knocked out of FIBA Africa Basketball League

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Rivers Hoopers celebrating their victory over SLAC of Guinea at the on-going FIBA Africa Basketball League in Sale, Morocco on Saturday. The Nigerians took on JS Kairouan of Tunisia…yesterday.

Nigeria’s representatives at the on-going FIBA Africa Basketball League were yesterday knocked out of the competition by JS Kairouan of Tunisia, who beat them 91-70 in their third and last Group A game of the competition in Sale, Morocco.

Abdul Yahaya had a team high 22 points and five rebounds, Solomon Ajegbeyi scored 12 points and seven rebounds, while Emmanuel Balogun added 10 points.

Yahaya shot 52.94 per cent from the field and 4/4 from the free throw line for Rivers Hoopers. In total, Hoopers had 13/17 from the line against JSK while shooting five 3-pointers in the game compared to 18 scored by JSK.

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With a nine-point deficit going to the break 47-38, Hoopers fell farther behind in the third quarter after JSK hit six three-pointers to increase their lead to 21 points. Hoopers couldn’t find their way back in the fourth and were outscored 26-21.

Lawrence Gilbert Jr scored a game high 29 points and five rebounds, Jawhar Jawadi had 17 points and six rebounds while Maodo Nguirane added 16 points and 13 rebound double-double for JS Kairouan.

Gilbert and Jawadi combined for 11 of the 18 three point shots made by the Tunisians which proved crucial against Hoopers who had a poor shooting percentage of 34.21 per cent from the field.

With the result, the KingsMen failed to book their place in the last eight and will return to Nigeria today, while AS Sale of Morocco and JS Kairouan qualify for the Elite Eight of the FIBA Africa Basketball League.

On Saturday, Rivers Hoopers bounced back from defeat in their opening game with a 76-75 win over SLAC of Guinea to raise hopes of winning a semifinal slot.

In that game, Abdul Yahaya had a team high 19 points and eight rebounds, Precious Osigbodi got off the bench to score 15 points and seven rebounds, Emmanuel Balogun had 15 points, while Victor Anthony Koko made 13 rebounds and nine points, one short of a double-double.

Osigbodi shot all his four three-pointers in the game and made 4/5 from the free throw line in 26 minutes of play.

Rivers Hoopers took a six-point lead going to the break 44-38, returned for the third quarter and were outscored by SLAC 20-15.


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