Abidjan Raiders stun Giants in Yaoundé
The third game of the Continental Basketball League tournament turned out a classic as the Abidjan Raiders dealt Yaoundé Giants a swift blow in front of their home fans winning the match 80-78. The Giants had started well with the Lagos leg dropping only a game to Eko Kings and their fans hoped they could continue on that note in Cameroun, but Tuesday night could only produce a near nightmare for those who thronged the magnificent sports hall.
After the loss to the Kings in Lagos on the night before the tournament moved to Yaoundé, the Giants coach, Pepouna Munyutu Souleyman had expressed optimism that they would return to winning ways at the next stage.
He said, “Today we lost, but we have seen our opponents at a closer range and of course the entire tournament. We’ll move on to better games ahead of us.”
Against the Abidjan guests, the home team took the first quarter 21 to 18 and then led at 36-35 at the break to give their fans hope at the buzzer. But the Raiders were only bidding their time and their 14-0 run in the third quarter made a whole lot of difference as the third quarter ended 59-55 for them and then they went on to complete the win with the narrow but highly rewarding 80-78 win. And it became the second win for the professionals from Cote d’Ivoire in Cameroon.
Before that match two games had already been played. The opening game in the Central African country also saw the Raiders dealing a 78-64 blow to Lagos Warriors, who were hoping to win their second match in the competition and fight for a playoffs spot. Raiders were very dominant winning every quarter.
In the first match of Tuesday, Lyvann Obame of the Libreville Izobe Dragons hit a double-double with 25 points haul and 12 rebounds but that could not save his team from losing to Lagos City Stars by 91-75. The win for City Stars, coached by a former Nigeria international, Godwin Owinje, has put them at the second spot on the log behind Eko Kings. Jordln Mayes of City Stars, however, stole the show shooting 32 points and seven assists and five rebounds. He scored 85-7% from the Free Throw line at 6/7. His field goals percentage was 72 from inside the paint.
City took the lead at 14-8 in the first quarter with the break at 36-30 for them. The third quarter ended 65-51 before they wrapped up the game.
The teams were billed to round up the matches last night before a return to Lagos for the All-Stars weekend.