Opponent: Association Sportive De Sale of Morocco
Final scores: 69:69
Match date: 30th March 2019
League: FIBA Africa Basketball League
Game title: Elite 8
The contest between us and AS De Sale was one of the toughest.
We came into the game well prepared mentally and physically with the understanding that they are one of the best teams at the continental level in Africa. We were also conscious of the fact that we are going to be playing directly in front of our passionate fans and key team stakeholders, therefore no excuse will be welcomed from us.
With the tensed and electrifying atmosphere, we boldly confronted the visiting team. All arsenals were set loosed from jump ball to final buzzer. They rushed the game the best way they could, while we maintained our normal style of play that gave us an edge with scores differentials within first and second quarters of the game. Actions in the last few minutes of 4th quarter amazed every single person within the arena, the unpredicted tie between Defenders Basketball and Association Sportive De Sale happened.
We were able to match the Moroccans side strength for strength, both offensively and defensively, although we did not properly utilize some of our offensive/scoring chances hence going forward as a team, we will pay close attention to finishing at the rim and conversion of awarded free throws.
Ocheibi Okpe maintained the lead with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Ibe Abuchi finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals, while Adottah Albert took his game to another level with 12 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist.
For us we are battle ready as we continue our Africa basketball league voyage, we are not stepping down confident and enthusiasm. We choose to approach game 2 (the decider) with our heads up.
To all our fans and team stakeholders we say thank you (esye, mo go dey, imela) for believing in us, we promise to remain patriotic.