By Oviri Kelvin
APA Flames basketball club on Monday defeated Novena Heartlanders 64-49 to record their first win in the ongoing round of 16 stage of the Mark D’Ball Men’s Basketball Championship.
The matches are being played at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
APA Flames, which lost their first two games in the competition, led Novena Heartlanders 18-9 after the first quarter, and went on to finish the second quarter leading 26-23.
They widened the gap in the third quarter by leading with 10 points for 47-37, before wrapping the game up with a 64-49 scoreline.
James Kala scored the highest points of 18 for APA Flames while Marvelous Darlington had the highest points of 15 for Novena Heartlanders.
Speaking after the match, the coach of APA Flames, Aniyebe Ujoh, said, “I am so happy that my boys won this game, because we lost our two earlier games. Today (Monday), they played to instructions. I did not expect that they could beat Novena Heartlanders because they won their two earlier games. Kudos to the players for the work well done.”
Ujoh, however, commended Igoche Mark, the president of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), for bringing back the sport at the local level.
“The players were not happy. In those few years there were no competitions for them in the game. I pray that God will continue to bless Mark to be able to organise more competitions,” he said.
In other games played at the competition on Monday, Suleja Bulldogs beat the NSCDC Civil Defenders 81-65, while Gombe Bulls also beat Plateau Peaks 82-69.
The round of 16 stage of the 2022Mark D’Ball Men’s Basketball Championship which started on Saturday will end on Tuesday.
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