“Blame it on Experience” basketball crew of Otukpo have been dethroned as Mark d’Ball basketball champions after dropping 61-77 to Benue Braves within the ultimate of the competitors’s 2017 version concluded within the early hours of Jan 1.
The match which passed off at Mark d’Ball’s newly constructed basketball area in Otukpo, Benue.
Benue Braves reached the ultimate after defeating Zuba Hornets of Suleja 68-57, whereas Experience defeated compatriots APA Flames 66-55 for the ultimate encounter.
It was a candy revenge for the Brave Boys who have been crushed within the ultimate of the identical competitors by “Blame it on Experience” two years in the past.
Team Experience made up with veterans in basketball, received the primary quarter of the sport 22-16 however surrendered to the superior firepower of the Benue crew.
The Benue crew took over the play successful 41-36 and 59-56 within the second and third quarters earlier than sealing victory 77-61 within the fourth quarter.
The defeat denied Experience basketball crew the chance of successful their sixth title within the competitors.
Captain of Experience Igoche Mark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), applauded the efficiency of the successful crew, however blamed poor officiating for his crew’s loss.
“The match officers made too many improper calls that affected my crew; there must be a stability of officiating in each recreation for groups to know their functionality as a result of we’re equal within the courtroom.
“Nevertheless, I’m pleased with the sport and its final result, although we didn’t win.
“I maintain telling different groups that it’s a disgrace that my crew takes the title yearly we come right here regardless of my teammates not enjoying energetic basketball.
“The Benue Braves players are younger than us, so, I give it to them,” Mark stated.
He pleaded with their supporters to bear with the crew this season and pledged that they might bounce again to successful methods within the subsequent version.
Benue Braves factors guard Michael Ikima, informed NAN that it was an honour successful the competitors.
He stated that the mum impressed him to successful the title.
“It has at all times been my dream to elevate the Mark d’Ball trophy and we have now received it regardless of the challenges we confronted.
“Our opponents have one of the best coaches, former NBA and nationwide crew gamers of their squad however my teammates have been capable of subdue them; actually I really feel nice.
“My mum impressed me as a result of I’ve not received any main title to point out that I’m basketball participant; so, I will probably be glad to inform her now that I received this title.
“I have won silver and bronze medals in this tournament but seeing my mother’s face while I was playing the final game, made the difference,” Ikima stated.
Ikima, a Nigerian Basketball Division One league participant expressed the hope that his crew would retain the title subsequent season.
NAN studies that Customs basketball crew from Abuja, received the feminine title after defeating Benue Providence 56-47 within the feminine class.
Benue Braves have been handed the competitors’s trophy with a money prize of N300,000, whereas Blame it on Experience received N200,000.
Zuba Hornets of Suleja and Bayelsa Patriots pocketed N100,000 every for successful the bronze medals within the female and male classes respectively.
Ten male and 6 feminine basketball groups participated within the competitors which began on Dec. 26.