Rwanda Patriots BBC Defeat Rivers Hooper In Basketball African League Opener
By Niyi Busari
Patriots BBC of Rwanda made history to emerge the first basketball club to win the first game at the ongoing Basketball African League (BAL) after defeating Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers 83-60, BSNSports.com.ng reports.
The Nigeria representative started well to win the first quarter 18-17. However, great performances from Patriots players left Rivers Hoopers behind at the end of the second quarter that ended 43-34.
The non-active of Basketball League since 2018 affected the performances of Nigerian players which gave advantage to Patriots to end the 3rd quarter 65-44. The big difference between the two clubs was that Patriots were shooting 50% from points while Rivers are 5-28 from the deep.
Delayed by Covid for over a year, the continent’s new pan-African basketball league will finally tip-off today Sunday 16 May.
Backed by the NBA, the Basketball Africa League (BAL) features 12 teams from 12 countries.
Africa’s top basketball club sides are set to face off from Sunday in the Rwandan capital Kigali in a new professional competition designed to promote the sport, drive economic growth and unearth the best up and coming talent.
Such aims are part of the reason for the involvement of the NBA, which is helping to organise a league outside of the United States for the first time.
Basketball’s world governing body Fiba is also involved in the hunt for the next Joel Embiid (Cameroon) or Pascal Siakam (Congo)
Rivers Hoopers was established in 2009 as Royal Hoopers. The team won its first NPL championship in 2011.
In December 2018, Hoopers played in the FIBA Africa Zone 3 Championship and won all five games to emerge as its Champions and went on to play in the 2019 Africa Basketball League in March. On 17 November 2019, the Hoopers won its third Nigerian title when it beat Raptors in the final. With this achievement, the team qualified directly for the inaugural season of Basketball Africa League (BAL).