NBBFPresidentCup: Raptors setup final date with Hoopers

NBBFPresidentCup: Raptors setup final date with Hoopers

Lagos-based basketball team, the Raptors will face tournament favourites, Rivers Hoopers in the final of the 2019 NBBF President Cup.

Raptors defeated a spirited Niger Potters team 84-81 in the first semi-final on Saturday to book their ticket for the final slated for Sunday.

It had looked like a one-way traffic for Raptors early in the game when they opened up a 21-point lead at some point in the first quarter before it ended 33-19.

Potters wouldn’t go down without a fight, however, as they began to find their way back in the tie, reducing Raptors’ lead to just 10 points at halftime.

In the third quarter, Potters turned it around to lead by three points, 51-54, their biggest lead in the match.

But the team from Niger couldn’t hold on as Raptors, inspired by Abel Offia and Akintoye Abiodun rallied round to wrap up the win in the fourth quarter for a place in the final.

Offia led with 17 points, 7 rebounds and two assists, while his teammate, Abiodun added 16 points, 4 rebounds and three assists.

However, Lucky Subel of Potters was the game’s outstanding performer with 22 points and 8 rebounds.

“I don’t have the words to express my feelings right now, ” a speechless Gini Chukwu told aclsports.com moments after Raptors’ win.

“I’m so happy and excited, who believed we would be able to reach the final? We have been hustling since Ilorin with our coach, who kept encouraging us. We fought, but came back together and had peace in our game to come out victorious – all thanks to God.”

In the second semi-final, Hoopers overcame a slow start to beat a stubborn Kwara Falcons 78-64.

Both teams started very slowly, failing to score even a point in the opening four minutes of the match.

But the Hoops found their way back into the game and it was never a question of if but when they win.

Victor Anthony led the way with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and two blocks. Abdul Yahaya, who was brilliant in defence for the Port Harcourt side, followed with 15 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and 1 block.

Mustapha Oyebanji top-scored for Falcons, with 14 points and 5 rebounds.

The winner of Sunday’s NBBF President Cup final will fly Nigeria’s flag at the 2020 Basketball Africa League.

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