Rivers Hoopers wins FIBA Africa Zone Three qualifiers
Rivers Hoopers Basketball Club emerged champions of FIBA Africa Zone Three qualifiers championship, after beating AS Police of Niger Republic 55-34 points in Cotonou at the weekend.
Buchi Nwaiwu of Hoopers again scored high numbers of points in the final to give the Nigerian team victory. He made 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks, while his teammate, Solomon Ajegbeyi, made a double-double, 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Hoopers led from the start to finish and kept a huge gap from the first quarter 18-2, which increased to a 26-point lead going to the last quarter. Police put up a good fight in the fourth round, beating Hoopers 15-10 but the result was not good enough to turn around the game.
AS Police Libidi Tankoano scored 10 points, eight rebounds and 2two steals.Hoopers won all five games in the championship against Civil Defenders (Nigeria), Custom Braves of Ghana, Elan Sportif (Benin Republic), Harbel Pointers (Liberia) and AS Police (Niger) respectively to finish unbeaten in the competition.
Rivers Hooopers Buchi Nwaiwu who won the most valuable player of the competition, finished in the top five alongside Akpatchi Romario (Elan), Dividson Samuel (Harbel), Ijigba Joel (Defenders) and Ali Sulleman (Customs).Rivers Hoopers, Civil Defenders of Nigeria and Elan Sportif of Benin Republic finished first, second and third respectively to qualify for the FIBA AfroLeague in 2019.
Speaking after the victory, Nwaiwu said he would improve his performance ahead of next year’s AfroLeague.“I feel very happy helping my team win the tournament. It’s a plus to my career and me. I have never been in this sort of competition. It has shown that I can do better than what I have put the zone Three qualifiers and I will continue to work hard to excel at next year AFRO league,” he said.