Lagos – Kano Pillars Basketball Club narrowly edged out Dodan Warriors of Lagos 67-66 to progress to the semi-finals in a keenly contested encounter in the ongoing DStv Basketball Playoffs in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Warriors, who had earlier beaten Kada Stars of Kaduna in their opening game, needed to beat Pillars to progress to the semi final.
Pillars, seeking a third consecutive championship title, were however too hot for them as they kept their title defense on track.
In the match, Abubakar Usman, who had 26 points and five straight three pointers, nailed the day for Pillars.
Pillars Coach, Sanni Ahmed told NAN after the match that his team had played a very tough opposition and were happy about the outcome.
“It was a great game, we gave our best and got the result we wanted.
“It was a very tough match but we were well prepared for it and got the result that we needed to pull through,’’ Ahmed said.
Meanwhile, Union Bank who beat Kada Stars 69-60 to record their second win from three matches also qualified for the semi final.
In Group A, Mark Mentors of Abuja cemented their place in the semi final with a 65-52 victory over Customs of Lagos.
Their captain, Stanley Gumut, stood out in the match with yet another outstanding performance.
NAN reports that Gumut stole the show with scintillating moves that mesmerised the audience.
He contributed 19 points to the success of the match while teammate Abubakar Yahaya scored 11 points.
Clearly the dominant team in the group, Mark Mentors beat Lagos Islanders 78-68 in their opening game, overcame their fellow Savannah Conference counterpart, Gombe Bulls, 63-61, before routing Customs.
In another group A encounter, Gombe Bulls which needed a win, proved too hot for eight-man Lagos Islanders.
The northern boys beat Islanders, 72-62 to the disappointment of Lagos fans who were hoping for an Islanders win.
Kano Pillars will now take on Gombe Bulls while Mark Mentors will play Union Bank in the semi finals at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.
The DStv Basketball Playoffs began on Aug. 10 with eight teams competing for the championship’s trophy and will be rounded off on Aug. 15. (NAN)