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2024 BAL: Rivers Hoopers Coach targets podium finish

Following a stellar performance at the Basketball Africa League (BAL) Sahara Conference in Dakar two weeks ago, Rivers Hoopers’ head coach, Ogoh Odaudu, has set new ambitious targets for the upcoming Playoffs,

Rivers Hoopers, also known as the KingsMen, surpassed their initial goal of merely qualifying for the playoffs by clinching the Sahara Conference championship with a 4-2 record.

This success marks a significant improvement from their last appearance in Kigali during the inaugural edition of the BAL in 2021, where they managed only one win out of three games.

Odaudu expressed his excitement about the team’s return to Kigali and their readiness to compete for the title this time around.

“It is a great feeling. For the past two seasons, we have been watching the playoffs on television, but this season we are live in the arena. It is a reality, and we know that this is it,” Odaudu stated. “Everyone is excited; the team is hyped up and looking forward to the playoffs, and we are hoping we will continue from where we stopped.”

Rivers Hoopers have already made history as the first Nigerian team to win more than one BAL game and to make it to the BAL Playoffs. Now, Odaudu is aiming to set even higher records in Kigali.

“We have gotten a little bit greedy now. We played very well, so why do we need to stop here? A podium finish is actually what we are looking for right now,” he added.

The KingsMen are set to face AS Douanes in the seeding game on Saturday. Depending on the outcome, they will then play against either Petro de Luanda or US Monastir in the quarter-final.

“We won’t dream far ahead; we will take it one game at a time. First is AS Douanes in the seeding game, and we will use it as a test to see what we can do and what we cannot do. The target right now is the quarterfinal game; from that game, we will see what happens from there,” Odaudu remarked.

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