Kano Pillars overcame a slow start to beat arc rivals, Gombe Bulls 71-67 in the Classification Game on Monday in Tunisia. Abubakar Usman had 21 points, Abdul Yahaya added a double-double,18 points and 11 rebounds his third of the tournament, while reserve Celestine Nwafor chipped in 11 points and 4 rebounds for Pillars.
After leading for most part of the game, Gombe Bulls gave up the advantage to Kano Pillars who took the advantage to record their second win of the competition.
Yakubu Sylvanus and Ibe Agu both had 12 points while Godwin David got off the bench to score 10 points.
With a 21-18 lead going into in the second quarter for Bulls, Pillars made a 6-1 run early and a three pointer by Azuoma Dike to equal the points 31-31 with 2:31 minutes remaining.
Gombe Bulls who were better placed to win it had more points off the bench 37-17 and more points in the paint 24-16.
Bulls failed to maintain their 6 points lead in the last two minutes of the game, as Dike, Yahaya and Usman all combined to score a 13-3 run for Pillars. Usman reeled off three 3pointers in a row while Yahaya made sure he scored his two free throws.
Yahaya scored 2 of 3 from the arc and 100% of his free throws (8/8) while Usman hit 4/9 from deep and 9/10 from the line.
The ninth place classification game will be between Kano Pillars and ASB Mazembe of DR Congo while New Generation will play against Gombe Bulls in the 11th place game.