Otukpo - Three male teams on Saturday night booked their quarterfinals ticket at the on-going 2013 `Mark D Ball’ basketball tournament in Otukpo, Benue State.
Suba Sharp Shooters from Suleja, Niger, were the first to make it to the last eight after two successful games against Pioneers Reunion of Port Harcourt and Falcons of Ilorin.
The Suleja team came from behind to defeat Pioneers 34-32 in the first match, while Falcons fell 30-35 to hand the team its quarterfinal ticket.
Full Force of Abuja sailed through after a 51-35 defeat of Saint Mark with a 60-19 whitewash of Blazers of Otukpo, in their first and second encounters.
It was also tea party for Braves of Makurdi as they moved into the last eight with the defeat of two home teams Apa Flames and Bethlehem of Otukpo.
Apa lost by 17-27, while Bethlehem fell by 32-51.
Alhassan Ibrahim, the coach of Full Force said the victories against their opponents were deserved because his players played to instructions and their game plan worked.
“One of my players, Timothy Kwaor, was exceptional because he is a gifted child when it comes to basketball.”
“Timothy alone got 25 points and five assists in this game (against Blazers).”
“Before the game, I told him not to be afraid of shooting because this is what he is here for; we played a zoned defence and it worked for us.”
“This is our third appearance in the tournament and we are aiming to win the tournament because we lost in the semi-finals of the 2012 edition with a point to the same team we defeated right now,” Ibrahim said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Full Force lost to Blazers in the semi-finals of the 2012 edition of the tournament.
Full Force is a basketball team formed with players from various Army cantonment in Abuja.