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Rivers Hoopers eye upset against AS Douanes in BAL opener

Rivers Hoopers eye upset against AS Douanes in BAL opener

Rivers Hoopers’ head coach, Ogor Odaudu, and guard Will Perry are optimistic that the KingsMen will secure a favorable result in their opening game of the 2024 Basketball African League (BAL) against hosts and last year’s finalists, AS Douanes, at the Dakar Arena today.

After missing last year’s edition, Rivers Hoopers return to the BAL, seeking to improve upon their maiden participation in the competition.

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As Nigerian champions, they are part of the Sahara Conference, where they will compete for one of three available playoff slots. To reach the playoffs, they must face AS Douanes, Armée Patriotique Rwandaise (APR) Basketball Club (Rwanda), and US Monastir (Tunisia).

Their campaign commences with a challenging match against AS Douanes, who will enjoy home support at the 15,000-capacity Dakar Arena. However, experienced coach Ogor Odaudu and guard Will Perry are confident in their team’s ability to upset AS Douanes.

“Everyone is prepared for the game. We are all confident and excited, and we’re staying focused,” Odaudu, who has also coached Nigeria’s senior men’s national basketball team, D’Tigers, told Bold Sports.

“Our opening game is against the finalists and runners-up from last season’s BAL. It’s a tricky game, as they’re playing at home and have been in this stage before, but we don’t expect their past achievements to be a factor. We are as ready as we can be and will go out there and play. The boys are prepared, they know what’s at stake, and have been practicing and getting ready.”

Guard Will Perry, recently acquired for the competition, is confident that Hoopers will emerge victorious in the end.

“AS Douanes were finalists last year in the BAL, a super good team with many good professional players. However, I think we’re going to pull off the win. I am confident. It’s going to be a packed, sold-out game with many ups and downs, but in the end, I think we’re going to come out on top.”

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