Saturday saw the Delta Force team trashing and defeating the Police Baton Nets 53 – 48 in the opening game of the round of 16 in Match Day 1 of the ongoing 2022 Mark ‘D’ Ball Men’s basketball championship in Abuja.
The Delta Force had previously topped the eight-team Phase 1 Group 3 table with 12 points in March.
During the opening game sessions of the round of 16 at the Indoor Sports Hall of Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, the Delta Force looked like a formidable force with a mind to extend their winning race. In spite of the efforts, the Police Baton dominated the first quarter, taking its lead 14-12.
However, they kept on spinning high quickly to the second quarter, maintaining the lead at 26-21.
Police Baton continued to lead the Delta Force up till 31-28 in the third halftime.
But the Delta players quickly bounced back into the game, with more strength and in force, and came from behind to level the third quarter 37-37 score line.
After equalising, Delta Force improved their game with more pressure on their opponents, extended their lead in the fourth quarter to 53-48 and completed the victory song with the scoreline.
After the match, the Captain of Delta Force, Mark Chikezie, said it was a hard game that his team had to fight.
“We thank God that we won, we started badly but we played the first three quarters; we couldn’t withstand our opponents strength.
“it was in the dying minutes of the third quarter that we bounced back and took the game, but we thank God we won the game finally.
“However, we emerged from the group stage in March, we won five out of seven matches played, so we only lost to Kano pillars team and The Assist Planet (TAP) and that was how we qualified to this stage.
“ Our next opponent is the Bayelsa Waves team. We played them in our group stage in March and we won them and it’s not easy to beat a team two times. So we will try by God’s grace, and we can still beat them.
“We are going to rest on Sunday and on Monday we will be playing Bayelsa Waves.
“ Every team is a threat because it’s five on five, it’s a basketball game,” he said.
Teams participating in the event include
Mo’ Heat, Gombe Bulls, Hot Coal Ballers, Nile University and Spartans.
Also, Nigeria Customs, FCT Hardrockers, Kwara Falcons, Suleja Bulldogs and NSCDC civil Defenders are the qualified teams from Phase 1 Group 2.
Kano Pillars, Delta Force, Kada Stars, Novena Heartlanders and Bayelsa Waves
qualified from Phase 1 Group 3 .
Africa Today News, New York