NBBFPresidentCup: Rivers Hoopers lift third title 

NBBFPresidentCup: Rivers Hoopers lift third title 

Rivers Hoopers have been crowned league champions for the third time after their victory over Raptors in the NBBF 2019  President Cup final on Sunday.

Hoopers ended the Raptors and their fairytale run with an impressive 57-97 points to finish as the only unbeaten team in the NBBF President Cup inside the Indoor Sports Hall, National Stadium, Surulere.

After name-checking Abel Offia as the danger-man for Raptors, coach Ogoh Odaudu of Hoopers mapped out the perfect tactics to subdue the hitherto brilliant shooter.

Read Also https://www.aclsports.com/nbbfpresidentcup-hoopers-wary-of-raptors-abel-offia/

Offia had his worst performance in the tournament as he finished with just 7 points in a very quiet final for him.

“You could see I was rotating a lot of players on him, there were people who were picking him up on occasions, ” Odaudu told www.aclsports.com.

“That’s what we wanted to do, we wanted to wear him down and put him in foul problems. So, it worked for us – the key was to pressure him and not allow him to get easy shots.”

The game started off as a close contest in the opening quarter with both sides separated by just six points as Hoopers took an early lead.

But by half time, it was beginning to slip away from the rookies, Raptors, with Hoopers extending their lead to 18 points.

Raptors made a lot of mistakes, with 21 turnovers and were subsequently punished by their more experienced opponents, Hoopers whose defense was as solid as it had been throughout the tournament.

The Port Harcourt-based side held on for the win, having stretched their lead to 40 points by the end of the final quarter to seal their third league title, and fourth overall.

Emmanuel Benjamin led proceedings for Hoopers with 20 points and 3 rebounds while Raptors’ Ebuka Innocent had a game-high 22 points, 4 rebounds, one assist and 2 blocks.

With the result, the current FIBA Africa Zone 3 champions will represent Nigeria in next year’s Basketball Africa League billed to tip-off in March, 2020.

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