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Atlantic Conference final: Hoopers See Off Oluyole Warriors on Day 1

By Boluwaji Ogunmola

Day 1 of the Atlantic Conference finals witnessed tightly-fought encounters between six of the seven participating teams.

Four time Nigeria Premier Basketball League Champions, Rivers Hoopers defeated Oluyole Warriors 80-61 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Akure Township Stadium.

The Rivers based team came into the second phase of the league, following their 4-0 success in the first phase of the league decided in Asaba to emerge the best team in their centre, while Oluyole Warriors was hoping to return to winning ways after their final day loss to Hoops & Reads in the first phase decided in Ibadan where they achieved a 4-2 record to finish as the fourth best team in the centre.

Rivers Hoopers dominated all four quarters (23-18, 43-34, 63-46, 80-61) to extend their unbeaten run to five games this season.

Hoopers’ next game is against Kwara Falcons at 9:00am, while Oluyole Warriors will next face Police Baton at 1:00pm on Tuesday.

In the opening game of the day, Hoops and Read defeated Lagos Legends 82-71 points, to record their fifth win of the season, and first in the second phase.

Lagos Legends finished second in the first phase of the league at the Asaba centre with a 3-1 record.

Hoops and Read have the day off on Tuesday, while Lagos Legends will battle former Champions Ebun Comets at 11:00am.

In the last game of the day, Police Baton suffered their third defeat of the season, and first of the second phase, losing to Ebun Comets by 2 basket margin. Comets won 51-47 to record their sixth victory of the season.

Actions continue tomorrow in the Atlantic Conference Final Eight on Tuesday with Rivers Hoopers taking on Kwara Falcons at 9:00am, Lagos Legends facing Comets at 11:00am and Police Baton meeting Oluyole Warriors at 1:00pm.

Delta Force opted out of the Conference Final Eight championship citing financial constraints.

With Delta Force’s withdrawal, seven teams are now left to fight for the two tickets to the National Final Four.

The other teams include, Rivers Hoopers, Lagos Legends and Police Batons, Kwara Falcons, Ebun Comets, Hoops and Read, and Oluyole Warriors.

Two teams will also qualify from the Savannah Conference to the national finals, where the country’s representative at the Basketball Africa League will emerge.

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