Lagos Islanders started their campaign in the 2019 Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) men championship tagged “President’s Cup” on a winning note on Monday in Ilorin after beating Police Baton 64-53 points.
The game was close at half-time 14-4 18-26 before the Islanders pulled away 13-8 19-13 against a physical Police side.
But it was all on the back of the man-of-the-match performance by Hilary Aigbokhaode who scored 17 points.
The duo of Bolaji Emilagba and Kanyinsola Odufunwa also added 13 and 12 points respectively for the Lagos-based team who are making their first league appearance in over three years.
Police Baton’s duo of Adjodo Ogbaja (13 points, 4 rebounds) and Kamal Ayanlere (13 points, 5 rebounds) were also outstanding.
Meanwhile, League debutants Coal City of Enugu lost 10-13, 14-12, 13-12, 7-21 against returnees Lagos Warriors 44-58 in a game that was tied 37-37 at the end of the third quarter.
Dike Nnamdi stood out for the Warriors with 12 points while Abraham Ogenyi recorded 10 points for Coal city.
During the third game of the day between two teams making their league bow, Nigerian Army edged Benue Braves 50-48 in a keenly-contested game.
It was the Army that led at half-time 28-25.
However, Benue Braves took control in the third quarter before the Army led by Boniface Onoja’s 12 points secured a win.
David Adetutu had a game high of 17 points and 14 rebounds, but it was not enough to hand his team a perfect start to the 2019 President Cup.