Yaoundé Giants, Abidjan Raiders shine as CBL Basketball Lagos Challenge dunks off
• African, American players excited over tourney
Highflying Yaoundé Giants of Cameroun proved their prowess at the ongoing game of the Continental Basketball League Lagos Challenge tagged ‘May Madness,’ which dunked off at the Teslim Balogun Stadium at the weekend.
The Camerounians defeated Lagos Warriors 104 to 66 to win the opening game of the tourney, which kept the spectators on their feet throughout the four quarters.
The Lagos Warriors comprising both African and American stars could not withstand the shooting skills of the Yaoundé Giants, which relied on the shooting skills of American star, Ian Carter to cruise to victory.
It was not a one way traffic, as Lagos Warriors American-born Nigerian player, Ikenna Mbamalu displayed exquisite skills to bring back his team into the game at the last quarter, but the solid defense of the Camerounians did not give the Lagos team any chance of taking the game.
Speaking at the end of the tie, Yaoundé Giants coach, Souleyman Pepouna said they capitalised on the weak defense of Lagos Warriors to win the game.To Yaoundé Giants’ Ian Carter, who said he was delighted to be part of the CBL tourney, the victory is just the beginning of the quest to win the tourney.
Lagos Warriors’ Ikenna Mbamalu revealed that the CBL tourney has given him the opportunity to visit Nigeria for the first time after spending all his life in America.
“I am proud to be part of the CBL. My team did not win because we did not have much time to train. The experience I have gathered playing in America and Europe would be used in this tourney. In our subsequent games, Lagos Warriors would excel. I am here to make a mark in the team and also let the Nigerian basketball team coaches know that I am available to play for the national team. Nigeria has great talents in Basketball,’’ he said.
Also speaking at the event, CEO of CBL, Ugo Udezue assured that his outfit would not give up in changing the face of basketball in Africa, saying that Nigeria and other African countries can produce talents that would contend with their American counterparts. In the second game, Eko Kings defeated Lagos Warriors 93 to 77, while Abidjan Raiders beat Lagos City 73 to 88.