FIBA Zone 3 Club Qualifiers: Kano Pillars avoid upset against short-handed Civil Defence
Kano Pillars would have their luck to thank as they held on to a 92-91 victory against a short-handed Civil Defence of Abuja at the ongoing FIBA Zone 3 Club Qualifiers at the at the Indoor Sport Hall of the National Stadium,Surulere.
Due to late FIBA clearance, Civil Defence played with just six players while Nigerian champions and favourites Kano Pillars had their complete 12 players to call upon.
Civil Defence shooting guard Gideon Omodoku from the free throw line made the first points of the game after both sides had previously missed each of their first attempts.
Kano Pillars led by Abubakar Usman found their rhythm and raced into a 21-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter witnessed interesting team plays from both teams, with the clock running out in the second quarter Gideon Omodoku brought the crowd to their feet with a monstrous poster. At the end of the second quarters Kano Pillars maintained their lead, they went into the half time break leading by 43-37.
Limited turn overs and ability to rebound both offensively and defensively gave Kano Pillars the healthy lead at half time.
The duo of Gideon Omodoku and Joel Ijagba turned the game around in the third quarters with both making difficult shots and three points to help Civil Defence close the gap to 4 at the end of the third quarter.
Gideon Omodoku made consecutive three point plays to the delight of the crowd.
With the help of Abubakar Usman and Ibrahim Yusuf, Kano Pillars increased their lead in the early minutes of the fourth quarters by 10, again Gideon Omodoku, Austin Eseoghene and Joel Ijagba rallied to bring Civil Defence back into the game.
With three minutes left on the clock for Gideon Omodoku made a four points play to give Civil Defence a lead for the first time in the game but the lead didn’t last as Abubakar Usman made a three points to restore Pillars lead.
With his last shot Austin Eseoghene could have won it for Civil Defence but he missed an asy layup as the experience Kano Pillars hung on to claim a hard earned 92-91 victory over the short-handed Civil Defence of Abuja.
Civil Defence trio of Gideon Omodoku (21) Austin Eseoghene (19)and Joel Ijagba(25) combined for 65 points while Kano Pillars Abubakar Usman (17) and Ibrahim Yusuf (17) combined for 34 points.
Kano Pillars have won their first two games while 6-man team Civil Defence are yet to win a game after defeats in their first two games.
By: Tope Adefala