Anaiye Johnson scored 23 points and the Kwara Falcons held off AHIP Giant’s late rally for a much needed 84-76 victory for coach Lateef Erinfolami first win of 2018 Kwese Premier Basketball League final eight playoffs.
The buildup to the game was dominated by the familiar faces in AHIP team which had ex-falcons players in Emmanuel Umeadi, Gbenga Rotimi and former falcons handler, Coach Adewunmi Aderemi who guided the club to two successive semi final outings at the championship.
The opening quarter saw both teams stand toe-toe with 23 points each but it was Falcons who led 33-29 at the break.
AHIP Giants stormed back in the third quarter, outscoring Falcons 26-18 and came within five (60-65) to set up an interesting fourth quarter but eventually lost 76-84 in a game which had eight lead changes.
Falcons skipper, Anaiye Johnson who shot 5/5 of his free throws, also had 69.2 percent from the two point range. He was not left alone as two other teammates — Chinedu Chimbuo had a double-double, 19 points with 12 rebounds while Mustapha Oyebanji added 16 points.
Babatunde Umoru was AHIP Giants main attraction, he logged in 20 points with 83.3 percent from distance shot while the duo of Musa Mohammed and John Amos combined for 33 points in a game they conceded 30 turnovers.
Looking ahead, Kwara Falcons who lost on the opening day to Kano Pillars, are second on the log behind the northerners. The team will face Anambra Flames in their last group game in which a victory will guarantee a safe passage to the semi finals for the third consecutive year.
It is a replication of last year’s Final match as Cup holders, Rivers Angels and …