Rivers Hoopers on Saturday bounced back to the top of the Atlantic Conference log after a dominant 87-72 win over a difficult Kwara Falcons side in Port Harcourt.
Benjamin Ikechukwu had 18 points, Emmanuel Balogun scored 15 points and 3 rebounds while Somtochukwu Managor added 11 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in a game the Hoopers had answers to every question posed by the opposition.
The KingsMen had dropped to second spot in the Conference after a loss to Falcons late June but Saturday’s victory, coupled with Kwara Falcons’ loss at Nigeria Customs returned the Ogoh Odaudu men to their rightful position.
Ikechukwu continued from where he left off in the last game proving unstable recording 3 of 4 of his shots from the arc but could not replicate same number of points or more against NAF Rockets on Thursday.
It took the former Lagos Warriors guard the second quarter to get into his rhythm. Although, Hoopers had the spark of Balogun with his dribbling skills, recording 3 of his 6 shots from the 3 point line and making 100% of his free throws in the game. He was the only player with double figures at the end of the second quarter (10).
Hoops & Read were led by Kemionbo Victor with a game high 20 points and 3 steals, Oyebanji Mustapha recorded 12 points while Ogunsemore Babajide had 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Most notably with 6 seconds left on the clock, Chinedu Chimbuo failed to capitalize on a turned over ball on centre court by Anyebe Ujoh missing the layup before the buzzer going to the half time break.
Despite the composed display, Hoopers still could not hold their own in the third quarter like they have usually done this season losing it 21-25 but Ikechukwu’s 3-0 run late in the third, ensured the Port Harcourt side got into the fourth quarter domineering and eventually sealed the win limiting the visitors to just 17 points in the final quarter.