Basketball African League: Odaudu recounts Rivers Hoopers’ gains

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KIGALI, RWANDA - MAY 22: Members of the the Rivers Hoopers Basketball Club pose for a team photo before the start of a game against the Gendarmerie Nationale Basketball Club during the first half at Kigali Arena on May 22, 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda. (Photo by Nicole Sweet/BAL/Basketball Africa League via Getty Images)

Rivers Hoopers head coach, Ogoh Odaudu has stated that the Nigerian representatives have got invaluable experience from their first-round exit at the inaugural Basketball African League ongoing in Rwanda.

The KingsMen represented Nigeria at the championship but after losing their opening two games to Patriot BC of Rwanda and Union Monastir of Tunisia before a last group game victory over GNBC of Mozambique was not enough to scale them to the next round of the competition.

Speaking with journalists shortly after their painful exit, Odaudu praised his players for the battling fight in all three games and assures that Rivers Hoopers will come more forcefully to ensure they pick the ticket again to represent Nigeria at the next BAL.

“We have seen the level of basketball on display in Rwanda and it is going to be more hard work on our part,” Odaudu noted.

“We will not go back and sit back and relax. We are going to double our efforts because it will be more difficult for us in the next championship as everyone will be eager to qualify for the Basketball African League.

“It will no doubt put a lot of pressure on us but we just have to do the things we need to do to qualify again. I am given a lot of kudos to all players that took part in this and especially to our foreign pros like Ben Uzor, Daniel Chris (USA), Sullivan Taren (USA), and others who have assisted us greatly.

“We have learned a lot. This team will not be living for Nigeria the same way it came to Rwanda for the BAL. It is entirely different Rivers Hoopers right now and that will reflect in our subsequent games hopefully.”

Rivers Hoopers are due back in Nigeria before Wednesday.

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