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#PBLFinal4: Rivers Hoopers Move Close To 5th Title With Hoops & Read Win

#PBLFinal4: Rivers Hoopers Move Close To 5th Title With Hoops & Read Win

Four-time Nigerian League Champions Rivers Hoopers edged closer to a fifth League title after defeating Hoops & Read 74-68 on day two of the Nigeria Premier Basketball League Final Four, on Friday, November 24 2023.

The KingsMen who won against Gboko City Chiefs on Day One, knew a win against Hoops & Read would put them in the driver’s seat after the Chiefs had earlier inflicted a first defeat of the season on Nigeria Customs in the day’s first encounter.

With that at the back of their minds, Rivers Hoopers started the game strongly and opened up a 7-point lead to end the first quarter 20-13.

The KingsMen improved offensively, outscoring Hoops & Read 24-16 in the second quarter, to take a 15-point lead into the halftime break.

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There was fanfare during the halftime break, as fans of the game won prizes by engaging in a dance contest before both teams returned to the floor for what was certain to be an intense third quarter.

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Rivers Hoopers 74 – 68 Hoops & Read

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Rivers Hoopers celebrate

The third quarter started as a ding-dong affair as both teams went back and forth, but Hoops & Read capitalised on a combination of poor shooting and decision-making by Rivers Hoopers to mastermind a remarkable turnaround as they cut the hosts’ lead by 10 points, to take the third quarter 22-12.

Hoops & Read enjoyed their best moment of the game when they outscored Rivers Hoopers 11-2 in the last five minutes of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter made for a tense finish as Hoops & Read put the boisterous crowd on the edge of their seats when they cut the deficit to within 2 points during the final moments of the game. However, an upset was not to be as the KingsMen held on to finish the fourth quarter 18-17.

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The win was Hoopers’ 12th consecutive victory overall and second against Hoops & Read having also beaten them in the Atlantic Conference phase, as they maintained their unbeaten run this season.

Rivers Hoopers top the standings at the Final Four having amassed four points with two wins from two. A win in their final game against Nigeria Customs will ensure that Rivers Hoopers clinch their fifth league title and a ticket to the Basketball Africa League.

Rivers Hoopers play Nigeria Customs at 5pm today [Saturday] while Hoops & Read will seek their first win of the Final Four when they take on Gboko City Chiefs by 3pm.

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