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Rivers Hoopers Set Sights on BAL Playoffs Glory Following Sahara Conference Triumph


Following a stellar performance at the Basketball Africa League (BAL) Sahara Conference in Dakar two weeks ago, Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu has announced ambitious new targets for the playoffs.

The KingsMen exceeded their initial goal of making the playoffs by finishing as Sahara Conference champions with a 4-2 record. This marks a significant improvement from their previous appearance at the inaugural BAL edition in 2021, where they managed only one win out of three games.

Odaudu expressed his excitement about returning to Kigali for the playoffs, emphasizing the team’s readiness to compete for the title. “It is a great feeling,” said Odaudu. “For the past two seasons, we have been watching the playoffs on television, but this season we are live in the arena. It is a reality, and we know that this is it.”

The coach highlighted the enthusiasm within the team, noting, “Everyone is excited; the team is hyped up and looking forward to the playoffs, and we are hoping we will continue from where we stopped.”

Rivers Hoopers have already made history as the first Nigerian team to win more than one BAL game and the first to make the BAL Playoffs. Now, Odaudu has set his sights even higher, aiming for a podium finish in Kigali. “We have gotten a little bit greedy now. We played very well, so why do we need to stop here? A podium finish is actually what we are looking for right now,” he stated.

The KingsMen will face AS Douanes in a seeding game on Saturday before taking on Petro de Luanda or US Monastir in the quarterfinal. Odaudu emphasized the importance of taking the competition one game at a time. “We won’t dream far ahead; we will take it one game at a time. First is AS Douanes in the seeding game, and we will use it as a test to see what we can do and what we cannot do. The target right now is the quarterfinal game; from that game, we will see what happens from there.”

Rivers Hoopers’ impressive run in the Sahara Conference and their return to Kigali for the BAL Playoffs has ignited hopes of further success, with the team focused on achieving even greater heights.

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