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Mark ‘D’ Ball: Kada Stars Stun Bauchi Nets, with comeback win

Benjamin Ahmed led Kada Stars Basketball Club of Kaduna to a stunning 71-70 comeback victory over Bauchi Nets, at the ongoing Phase 1, Group B tournament of the 2023 Mark ‘D’ Ball Men’s Basketball Championship, in Abuja.

Man-of-the-match Ahmed scored 18 points, amassed a staggering 32 rebounds, four turnovers, four blocks, made two steals and had one assist.

He also combined well with Paul Dibal who scored 22 points, including seven rebounds, eight turnovers and three steals, as Kada Stars rallied from a 12-point deficit to emerge victorious, by a single point.

The result meant the Kaduna-based clubside maintained their 100 percent win record so far at the championship.

Bauchi Nets, on the other hand were on a two-game losing run, after they had recorded an impressive 69-55 win in their very first game against Ogun State-based The Assist Planet (TAP) Basketball Club on Saturday.

However, it was the Nets from Bauchi who showed more hunger, and were on the front foot from the blast of the referee’s whistle, they completely dominated play and led from the first to the third quarter taking it 19-14, 19-14,18-16 for a 56-44 scoreline heading into the fourth quarter.

But with their backs to the wall and staring their very first defeat in the face, Kada Stars staged a late comeback to a hard fought, but deserved victory.

Ahmed who was handed the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award told Radio Nigeria Sports that the key to his success was patience and hardwork.

“I posted an impressive 16, 18 and 19 rebounds in our last three games leading up to this one and I told myself that I wanted to do more for the team.

“So, this time around I had to be patient and put in the work, especially when my team was down. It was indeed the motivation I needed to prove my worth and step it up a notch,” he said.

Results of other Phase 1, Group 3, Day-4 games also played on Tuesday saw Kano Pillars whip Benue Braves 78-58 in a one-sided affair, to also maintain their 100 percent record in the tournament.

Benue Braves are now on a four-game losing streak as they are yet to register a win at the tournament.

Also, Delta Force of Asaba out-dunked Bayelsa Nets 48-41 to record their third win, while Novena Heartlanders from Imo state, put up a classical performance to nick a nervy 67-65 victory against Ogun State-based TAP.

The three-month long championship which resumed on Saturday with the Phase 1, Group three final round of matches will end on Friday.

Editing by Marian Benjamin