Pillars, Falcons Win Conference Six Playoffs

Nigerian Premier Basketball League defending champions, Kano Pillars, and top notch Nigerian club, Kwara Falcons at the weekend emerged champions of the Savannah and Atlantic Conference Six of the Kwese Premier League playoffs.
The two conferences had six teams each. The Savannah Conference held at the Murtala Muhammed Square in Kaduna while the Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara Sports Complex in Ilorin played hosts to the Atlantic Conference with only four teams qualifying to play the Final 8 scheduled for Kano between September 4th and 9th.
Kano Pillars defeated hard-fighting Gombe Bulls 104-97 points in their first game, crushed Kada Stars 91-58 points, won the clash with Bauchi Net 85-44 points before succumbing to defeat from Niger Potters 103-71 points. They defeated Plateau Peaks 80-64 points.
Coach of the Kano-based team, Sani Ahmed, speaking on his team’s performance after the championship reiterated his club’s desire to retain the trophy at the Final 8 in Kano. “Winning the Savannah Conference Six shows the level of consistency in the club.
“It also tells of the amount of hard work put in by the players to remain consistent on the winning side.”
Ahmed said the ultimate goal of the team is to retain the Final 8 trophy next month. “The team is not 100 per cent perfect yet. We are still a high scoring side averaging 80 points per game but we can still be able to do more so as to defend and win the Final 8 at home in Kano.
“Our tradition is to win any tournament we find ourselves in. So, we aim to retain the Final 8. We have noticed some weaknesses and lapses in the course of our games and will work on them before the Final 8.
“I noticed the boys sometimes get complacent; but we need to be consistent and more perfect in taking shots,” observed the Pillars coach.
Ahmed also disclosed that the conference play-off was part of preparations for his team’s participation in an invitational tournament slated for Malaysia in the first week of September.
“Immediately we conclude the Final 8 we shall be honouring a fully sponsored trip to Malaysia for an invitational tournament involving teams from Japan, China, Malaysia and others from other Asian countries.
Good enough, we will be well prepared because this Kwese Premier Basketball League Final 8 is as good preparatory ground for the tournament,” concludes the Pillars coach.
In the Atlantic Conference Six Play-offs, Kwara Falcons tutored by Adewunmi Aderemi, also defeated all five opponents, Police Batons 106-70, Oluyole Warriors 77-67, Customs 84-73, Hoops and Read 78-73 and defeated Rivers Hoopers in the final game.
In the Atlantic Conference, Rivers Hoopers placed second, Hoops and Read was third with Customs fourth. Police Batons and Oluyole Warriors didn’t make the Final 8.
Falcons’ Coach, Adewunmi Aderemi, stated in a post event chat that his team will return to training as soon as possible to get the needed fitness for the Final 8.
“My dream is to help pick a continental club ticket for the club.
“We shall try our best to win vital games in Kano when the Final 8 begins. We won’t let the Atlantic Conference victory enter the heads of our players, the journey is still far and I believe strongly that, we shall make a very big impact in the Final 8.”