Mo’ Heat Basketball Club of Abuja on Saturday defeated Kano Pillars 74-70 to advance into the final match of the ongoing Mark ‘D’ Ball Men’s Basketball Championship.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Mo’Heat won the semi-final match in the competition holding at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja to remain unbeaten.
Mo’ Heat led after the first quarter which they won 20-18, before Kano Pillars snatched the lead in the second quarter which ended 38-36.
Mo’ Heat fought back but failed to overturn the game, leaving Kano Pillars to extend their lead by the end of the third quarter 60-55.
The fourth quarter was the toughest as it brought out the best in both teams, before Mo’Heat final got a breakthrough to snatch victory.
For the winners, Francis Ajulufo had the highest points of 14, followed by both Victor Koko and Johnson Anaye who had 13 points each.
Chinedu Chimbou had 16 points, while Eli Abraham 14 points for Kano Pillars.
Mo’ Heat will face either with Gombe bulls or Nigeria Customs Service who faced off in the second semi-final match of the competition.
Speaking after their win, the coach of Mo’ Heat, Adeka Daudu, said they were now looking forward to their next opponents.
“It was really a tough game and the Kano Pillars played tremendously. They have a lot of experienced players, and they have been Nigerian champions in basketball for a while.
“They also have a well-experienced coach who used to be my coach,” he said.
Daudu however said his team’s performance in Saturday’s match was very poor and their decision-making a bit poor.
“We just kept on making moves of different adjustments as we played the game until we had victory.
“But I give all appreciation to my players as they did the amazing thing and they stood their ground to maintain our 100 percent unbeaten record.
“They showed that the team have a good character, and I am happy,” he said.
The coach pointed out that in their match on Friday against Nigeria Customs Service they came from behind to win 72-67 and they also came from behind on Saturday.
“So far in this competition, we have only played two games in which my team came from behind to win. All the other games we played so far in the competition have seen us leading to win.
“What that means is that my team have character and I am happy about that,” he said.
NAN reports that Mo’ Heat have gone a total of 14 games unbeaten since the start of the tournament on Feb. 6.
The competition which returned with the “Elite Eight” stage on Wednesday saw eight teams divided into two groups, with two best teams from each group heading into the semi-finals.
The final match will be played on Sunday to determine the winners of the championship.