BAL: Rivers Hoopers see off Rwanda’s APR to continue perfect start to Sahara Conference

BAL: D’Tigers Eke lifts Rivers Hoopers past AS Douanes in Sahara Conference

Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers made it two wins in as many games at the ongoing Sahara Conference of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) with a Day 2 win over Rwandan champions APR on Sunday.

The King’s Men defeated the Rwandans 86-82 at the Dakar Arena in Senegal to make history as the first Nigerian team to win back-to-back games, and the first Nigerian team to win more than one game at the BAL.

American guard Will Perry showed why he was brought in by the Hoopers as he led the team with 31 points, as well as four rebounds and three assists. The 29-year-old was lights out from the field, as he shot 62% from the floor on 10 of 16 field goal attempts, 7 of 13 from the 3-point mark, and 100% from the free throw (4 of 4).

Devin Eke, who was the star of Game 1 for the Hoopers, finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Kelvin Amayo had 13 points and dished out seven assists to ensure the Rivers Hoopers’ “Big Three” finished in double figures for the second straight game.

APR won the rebound game 46-41, but the Hoopers were intentional about winning, and despite failing to take advantage of having fewer turnovers, they led 21-12 in second-chance points. The King’s Men also enjoyed almost double their opponents 3-point shooting percentage, as they shot 36% as a team and 19% from downtown.

The Rwandans were led by Noel Obadiah’s game-high and BAL career-high 32 points, along with seven rebounds and three assists. Dario Hunt finished with 14 points and five rebounds, while team captain William Robeyns added 12 rebounds, five rebounds, and four assists.

The win put some distance between the Rivers Hoopers, who are now the only undefeated team in the Sahara Conference, and APR in the standings. The Hoopers have gotten two wins from two and are on four points with a +13-point difference, while APR suffered their first defeat since their BAL debut.

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