Nigeria Customs were on Sunday night crowned Champions of the 2022 Mark D’ Ball Men’s Basketball tournament after inflicting a 61-55 defeat on new Abuja franchise, Mo Heat in the final of the Elite 8 tournament played at the Indoor Sports Hall of the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
D’Tigers player, Ibe Agu who captained Customs contributed 17 points,two fewer than his teammate, Michael Daramola, whose 19 points was matched by Mo Heat’s top scorer, Bright Akhuetie, while Owen Michael could only manage 13 points for the Mo Heat, who literarily lost their way in the last quarter.
Going into the final watched by a capacity crowd and graced by eminent personalities, including a representative of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Abba Yola, a former Senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye and Directors of Sports from the FCT, Plateau, Niger and Benue.
Mo Heats were unbeaten and favourites to take the title, having already beaten the Customs side in the build of to the final.
The first quarter being nervous one, ended 15-15, with both teams fighting hard in the second quarter and even at the end of the 3rd quarter, it was still a tight game at 47 baskets, apiece.
Nigeria Customs started the last quarter with more zeal and purpose, pulled away, and eventually were able to hold off a late challenge mounted by Mo Heats to win the final by 6 clear points.
Victory ensured that they emulated their ladies folks, who also won the women’s tournament, played towards the end of 2021.
On the other hand, defeat for Mo Heat, was their very first and only defeat in the 32-team tournament.