Gboko City Chiefs on Friday defeated Mak Town Flyers basketball club to emerge champions of the 2023 Sam Oguche/Bullet Energy Drink Invitational Tournament at the Mo Arena in Abuja.
Both Gboko City Chiefs and Mark Town basketball club reached the final having defeated FCT Hard Rockers 87-100 and Warriors 313; 84-73, respectively in the semi-finals on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the five-day tournament, which dunked off on Monday, ended on Friday in Abuja.
The Jeff Verem-led team emerged champions after recording an impressive (90-77) at the end of the fourth quarter.
With the victory, Gboko City Chiefs smiled to the bank with a N1 million prize money, while Mark Town basketball club received a N500,000 runners up prize.
After faltering in the first quarter (19-22) to the runners up, Gboko City Chiefs never looked back, taking control of three other quarters (28-11, 19-21, 24-23) in the second, third and fourth quarters to claim the title.
Interestingly, the champions are one of the four teams that qualified for the finals of the 2023 Nigeria Basketball (NBBF) Final Four to be held in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
Haruna Friday won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award to pocket a N20,000 prize money, while Umar Garba emerged the competition’s top scorer with 22 points.
Speaking after the final, the organiser, Sam Ogwuche, said he was satisfied with the outcome of the championship.
He noted that the competition surpassed the expectations of basketball fans who trooped in their numbers to the Mo Arena.
“I feel very excited because it’s not easy planning a competition like this. For me the objective of the competition has been achieved because the winners are going to the NBBF Final Four.
“This serves like a preparatory competition for them, and of course I wish them all the luck going to Port Harcourt.
“As organiser we supported the winners with N1 million as prize and we will keep supporting the team and we believe that in the subsequent editions, the prize money would be jacked up.
“We are planning a competition also for the girls and that will come up anytime soon. The men’s competition will also be back in January,” he said. (NAN)