By Patrick Omorodion
Just like in the female basketball league where First Bank Basketball Club continued to dominate in the Zenith Bank Female League, Kano Pillars Basketball Club have retained the male title of the 2009 DStv Premier League concluded in Lagos Tuesday. They beat Lagos Islanders 83-72.
The Kano side did it in style, pulling an early lead with 12 points difference in the first quarter but the hard fighting Islanders closed up the gap ending at 23-16 in favour of the Kano side. The second quarter also ended in Pillars favour but with one point less than the seven point they led with in the first quarter at 21-15.
Islanders took the third quarter at 20-16 but Pillars still led with total scores at 60-51. As they entered the crucial and final quarter, the Lagos side chalked up points from free throws as the desperate Kano boys fouled them consistently.
At a point Pillars pivot and three point specialist, Usman Abubakar became furious with a team mate over errors and annoyingly left the court to the chagrin of his coach, Alhaji Sani Ahmed who momentarily lost control of the game and his players.
Consequently, the Islanders were all over the court, piling points to tie with their opponents at 60-60 and then led 62-60. Fatigue also set in for Pillars as only two players from the bench manage to support the regular five.
Abubakar couldnâ€™t stand the slip anymore and returned to court to motivate his team mates.
It paid off as he got fouled several times to earn free throws and widened their lead again. NoÂ wonder he chalked up more points than every other player, 35 in all to be named the Most Valuable Player of the competition while his team got N1 million for emerging winners.
Earlier, retired Colonel Sam Ahmeduâ€™s boys, Warriors Basketball Club had beaten Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt in a tight match to clinch the third spot and N500,000. Islanders got N750,000 for coming second, all courtesy of the sponsors, DStv.