Red Bull Half Court: Kingsmen & Combatants to represent Lagos in national finals

Red Bull Half Court: Kingsmen & Combatants to represent Lagos in national finals

Reigning champions of the Red Bull Half Court basketball tournament, the Kingsmen, along with the Combatants, have emerged as winners of the Lagos Mainland and Island qualifiers respectively.

They will represent Lagos State in the national finals billed for the Palms Mall, Lekki on June 24.

The Lagos Mainland qualifiers took place at the indoor basketball court of the National Stadium in Surulere on Saturday, June 3, with the Kingsmen emerging victorious after defeating the LCU Kings 16-10 in the final.

The packed arena had 19 teams from around the Mainland jostle for the sole qualifying ticket to the final.

The tournament, which began with a draw of lots, saw 14 teams pitched against each other, with the remaining five sides automatically moving on to the next round by ‘bye’ decision.

Eventual winners, the Kingsmen began their winning run by defeating the Cantonment Braves 14-10 in the first round.

The second round began almost immediately with more vigour and hunger with a battle between two teams that got byes in the first round, as Team Ignite saw off the Dynamic Boys 18-3, while the Mainland Rockets were booted out by the Ball Brothers in a close game that ended 10-9.

The Kingsmen edged past the Stem Ballers 12-10, thanks to a breathtaking two-point shot at the buzzer.

The White Fire defeated the Underdogs 7-2, while the Young Forces fell to the SM Lions 7-4 to complete the second round of fixtures and make known the last eight teams.

In the quarter-finals, the intensity was as pulsating as expected, with fans and players on the edge.

The experience of the Kingsmen paid off to defeat White Fire 10-5, while SM Lion got a bye to complete the final four teams who had a shot at emerging as winners and booking a berth in the national finals later this month.

In the semifinals, a last-gasp lay-up that sent the crowd into raucous celebration, was the difference as the LCU Kings sent Team Ignite packing in what was arguably the best game of the event.

The Kingsmen, on the other hand, made light work of the SM Lion to seal another final berth.

The much-anticipated final game saw the more accomplished Kingsmen display their experience and superiority as they dispatched the LCU Kings to claim their ticket as one of the five teams that will compete in the national finals.

The four-man team showed impeccable skills, togetherness, grit, and experience, dispatching every single obstacle that came their way to keep alive their hopes of representing Nigeria at the World Half Court tournament in Serbia.

The second arm of the Lagos qualifiers, the Island edition, took place on Sunday, June 4, at the Organised Basketball Network Academy in Ajah, Lagos.

Combatants, a faction of the OBN Academy team, cruised past the other 24 opponents to be crowned champions after defeating Lightout 10-6 in the final game of their qualifier.

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