Abuja – DStv Men’s Premier Basketball League defending champions Mark Mentors of Abuja on Friday lost out of qualification for the league’s 2016 Final Eight.
Mark Mentors failed to qualify after losing 90-96 to Niger Potters of Minna in their last game at the Savannah Conference Super Six at the National Stadium in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Niger Potters thus joined Plateau Peaks of Jos, Gombe Bulls and Kano Pillars in qualifying for the Final Eight.
All four clubs will join four others from the Atlantic Conference playofs to feature in the Final Eight event in Lagos.
In this decisive match, Niger Potters who were on the brink of non-qualification started brightly by winning the first quarter 21-18.
Niger Potters continued to be in control, leading 38-35 by the end of the second quarter.
They maintained the lead in the third quarter at 66-63, going on to widen their lead in the game’s final quarter.
After the match, Adamu Abdul, the coach of Niger Potters, said he was happy his team fought to the end.
“I am happy the team fought their way to a slot in the Final Eight. I really thank God for that.
“Now, we will have to go back and prepare better for the Final Eight in Lagos.
“We know it is not going to be easy at all, but we have to ensure that we work on our mistakes to ensure a successful outing in Lagos,’’ he said.
Adeka Daudu, the coach of Mark Mentors, said he was still working on creating a stronger team.
“Like I said before, we lost so many of our players. So, what we have in the team are mostly new players.
“We are concentrating on building a stronger team now and not necessarily participating in the Final Eight. We are building a new team,” he said.
Mark Mentors joined Bauchi Nets in failing to gain qualification from the Super Six.(NAN)