APA Flames defeated Novena Heartlanders

The APA Flames Basketball Club beat the Novena Heartlanders 64-49 on Monday to record their first victory in the ongoing Round of 16 Mark D’Ball Men’s Basketball Championship.

The matches are played at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

APA Flames, which lost its first two games in the competition, led Novena Heartlanders 18-9 after the first quarter and finished the second quarter in the lead 26-23.

They widened the gap in the third quarter by leading with 10 points for 47-37, before finishing the match with a score of 64-49.

James Kala had the highest points of 18 for APA Flames while Marvelous Darlington had the highest points of 15 for Novena Heartlanders.

Speaking after the game, APA Flames coach Aniyebe Ujoh said, “I’m so happy my boys won this game because we lost our previous two games. Today (Monday), they played with instructions. I didn’t expect they could beat Novena Heartlanders as they won their previous two games. Kudos to the players for a job well done.

Ujoh, however, praised Igoche Mark, the chairman of the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF), for bringing the sport back to grassroots level.

“The players were not happy. In those few years, there were no competitions for them in the game. I pray that God continues to bless Mark so that he can organize more competitions”, did he declare.

In other matches played at the competition on Monday, Suleja Bulldogs beat NSCDC Civil Defenders 81-65, while Gombe Bulls also beat Plateau Peaks 82-69.

The Round of 16 of the 2022 Mark D’Ball Men’s Basketball Championship which began on Saturday will conclude on Tuesday.