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Pillars Outclass Hoopers To Top Group B

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Rivers Hoopers on
Wednesday lost their last group game to all conquering Kano Pillars 83-62 to finish runners up of Group B of the DSTV Basketball League Final 8 Play offs.
Ronald Alalibo scored 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist while Somtochukwu Managor added 11 points and 4 rebounds in a game that was purely academical with both teams having already qualified for the last four.
The Port Harcourt side had a better and competitive first half performance, taking the lead in the first quarter (16-15) but later lost the second quarter (31-36).
The second half of the game was however one way traffic, as Pillars showed their level of experience blowing away Hoopers with their 3 point shots and forcing them to make a total of 31 turnovers in the entire game.
Thursday is being observed as rest day for the four semifinalists while the classification games will be on. On resumption of play today, Rivers Hoopers will face Nigeria Customs for a place in the final of the 2015/2016 DSTV Basketball League.
After the game, Hoopers coach Ogoh Odaudu said he is proud of his team inspite of the loss to Pillars.
“Generally I think my boys did very well but experience started to count for Pillars in the second half and they wore us down quickly from the third quarter,”Odaudu explained.
He further added that, “We are going to do a lot of work in all aspects of our game ahead of our semifinal game against Customs today. I am hopeful we will have a good game and hopefully get a continental spot back to Port Harcourt.”
On his part, Pillars coach Sanni Ahmed was excited with the victory over Hoopers.
“First of all I thank God for the victory and the players have played their hearts out and their morale is high because their allowances, salaries are paid when due. Every support needed is given by the state government and the executive chairman of the Kano sports commission.  Also the team have been together for a long time and that’s why the consistency is in the team. “said Ahmed.
Full results
Group A
Plateau Peaks 52-62 Kwara Falcons
Customs 57-51 Niger Potters
Group B
Kano Pillars 83-62 Rivers Hoopers
Gombe Bulls 73-61 Oluyole Warriors
Semifinal pairings
Kano Pillars v Kwara Falcons
Rivers Hoopers v Nigeria Customs

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Tokyo 2020: Naomi Osaka Beats China’s Saisai In Straight Sets

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Japan’s Naomi Osaka returns a shot to China’s Zheng Saisai, during their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women’s singles, first round tennis match at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo .
Japan’s Naomi Osaka won in straight sets on her highly-anticipated return to court at the Tokyo Olympics yesterday, while world number one Ashleigh Barty crashed out in the first round.
Osaka, the star of the opening ceremony, defeated China’s Zheng Saisai 6-1, 6-4 in her first match since taking an eight-week break for mental health reasons.
“I feel like more than anything I’m just focused on playing tennis. Playing the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said Osaka, chosen as the first tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron on Friday.
“I feel like the break that I took was very needed, but I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and happy again.”
The Australian Open champion had not played since May, when she walked out of Roland Garros, saying that media commitments were harming her mental health.
Osaka showed few signs of rust as she reeled off the opening five games on the Ariake Coliseum centre court, which likely would have been packed to capacity if not for a spectator ban because of coronavirus restrictions.
The second seed broke the 52nd-ranked Zheng for a 2-1 lead in the second set and closed out an 87-minute victory on her third match point.
The 23-year-old Osaka is attempting to become Japan’s first Olympic tennis champion. She will play Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic in the last 32.

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Insurance FC Records Second NNL Win On Return

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Bendel Insurance recorded their second win in a row since returning to the second tier of Nigeria National League with a 1-0 win over Abia Comets on Saturday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Defender Tanimu Benjamin scored the only goal of the encounter in the 26th minute to hand the hosts the maximum points.
Both results have brightened their chances of qualifying for the Super 8.
According to Tidesports source, the Edo State Government in June withdrew the team from the competition after several of their players were injured by home fans during their game against Remo Stars in Ikenne, Ogun State.
On their return, Insurance pulled off an away win over Holy Arrows in Enugu before the win at the weekend 
“I am happy with the goal and the overall performance from the boys. Our aim is to return to the topflight and we are working hard to achieve it,” goal scorer Benjamin, who was injured in the violence at Ikenne, said

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Karagumruk To Pay Musa N1bn Annually

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Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa was on Thursday unveiled by Turkish Lig 1 side, Fatih Karagumruk, having signed the winger on a two-year deal with an option to extend the deal for another year.
Tidesports source gathered that the financial details of the deal were undisclosed by both club and player, Musa will earn about$2.5million (N1.02billion) annually with a weekly pay of $40,000, with bonuses.
Karagumruk were promoted to the Turkish topflight in the 2019/2020 campaign, ending a 35-year wait for a return to the Super Lig and want to remain there, thus, the acquisition of star players like Musa.
“It’s a good deal no doubt, the club wanted Musa because of his wealth of experience, having played at the World Cup and the UEFA Champions League. Since they were promoted to the topflight two seasons ago, their major aim is to remain in the Turkish topflight and also win games against the big sides like Galatasary, Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor and they believe Musa can help them achieve their goals. That’s why they signed him for $2.5million annual salary, besides bonuses and allowances,” a close friend of Musa said.
It was also reliably learnt that there were financial incentives for Musa, if the club qualified for European competitions, and if he ended up as their highest scorer at the end of the season.
Musa, in an interview with newsmen said Karagumruk’s ambition was a major reason he joined them.
“I was very impressed with the team’s philosophy, style of play and it’s clearly an ambitious club.

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