Kano pillars emerged champions of the Savannah Conference six play offs in Kaduna after winning all five games played.
The defending champions beat second place Niger Potters, Gombe Bulls, Plateau Peaks, Bauchi Nets and Kada Stars to win the Savannah Conference six playoffs of the 2017 Kwese Premier Basketball League.
Previously, the team who comes top of their conference was not awarded a trophy. As part of the new innovation put forward by the Nigeria Basketball Federation, winners of the Atlantic and Savannah Conference six playoffs will be celebrated and given a trophy.
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In Ilorin, action returned in the Atlantic Conference six playoffs after a day’s rest on Friday. Police Baton and Oluyole Warriors who haven’t won a match in the competition, were condemned to beat their respective opponents, Rivers Hoopers and Nigeria Customs to stand a chance of qualifying to the last four.
Oluwatobi Ariyibi and Malik Tella led Police Baton in a double-double but wasn’t enough as they were beat 63-80 points by former champions, Hoopers. Ariyibi scored 15 points and 12 rebounds while Tella added 10points with 12 rebounds to go with it.
Rivers Hoopers guard, Ikechukwu Benjamin scored a game high 19 points and 10 rebounds completing the trio of players that recorded double-double in the game.
The story was no different for Oluyole Warriors who were also beaten 75-78 by Customs. The last year finalist had one foot in the final four having won a game against Police Baton on Wednesday.
Moses Okpoye scored a game high 24 points, while Suleiman Owolabi and Sunday Aribiyun both scored 19 and 14 points respectively for the Warriors.
The warriors had the opportunity of winning the game with less than 30 seconds on the clock but Customs showed they were a more experienced side. Seyi Ayodele recorded 21 points and Okiki Afuwape added a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds for Nigeria Customs.
Meanwhile, Hoops & Read were on the verge of spoiling Kwara Falcons party in the final quarter after Falcons failed to keep up the momentum from the third quarter (61-49). Despite errors made late in the game, the Conference leaders maintained their lead till the final buzzer.
Godwin David continued his impressive form in the playoffs with a game high 28 points and 4 steals for the Falcons.
Hoops & Read had to play without two key players on the roster, Bolaji Emilagba who was ill and the injured Victor Komonibo.
Kwara Falcons emerged winners after overcoming a late scare losing the last quarter 17-24 , they finally won 78-73 points and stayed top of the standings.
Kwara Falcons, Rivers Hoopers, Hoops & Read and Nigeria Customs have all qualified for the final 8 from the Atlantic Conference. While Kano Pillars, Niger Potters, Gombe Bulls and Plateau Peaks complete the list from the Savannah Conference.
Sunday last round of games in Ilorin will decide who emerge champions of the Atlantic Conference when Rivers Hoopers play against Kwara Falcons.
Other matches to be played, Nigeria Customs take on Hoops & Read while Police Baton will face Oluyole Warriors.