Alade Aminu recorded a double double as his team defeated Turk Telekom 79-66. The 6’10 power forward finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds and 3 steals as he continues with his impressive play in the Turkish league so far. The first two quarters belonged to Pinar as they went into the half leading 40-33. An impressive run by Telekom in third took them into the last quarter leading 55-51, but Pinar came back strong in the fourth quarter clamping down on defence and converting their set plays to wrap up the game and remain unbeaten in the three games they have played so far this season.
The game between Virtus Roma and JuveCaserta saw Gani Lawal and Ade Dagunduro of Roma go up against Jeleel Akindele of Caserta. In a very lively atmosphere, the first two quarters were tightly contested as both teams converted at the basket easily and JuveCaserta stayed within reach as Roma went into the half leading 42-32. The second half though was a different ball game, Roma played with more energy as they started knocking down threes, and Gani Lawal was finishing strong inside, JuveCaserta found it very difficult to stay in the game as Roma eventually ran away with it 86-57. Lawal finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds, Dagunduro did not get on the scoreboard, but is slowly getting back into form after the injury he suffered during the summer with the Nigerian team, his combination with Lawal is proving very effective for Roma and he finished with 6 assists and 2 steals in 13 minutes of play. Jeleel Akindele finished with 10 points and 3 rebounds for JuveCaserta.
Elsewhere, Ndudi Ebi finished with only 4 points and 6 rebounds, his team Sidigas Avellino will get the important win over SAIE3 Bologna 87-77. It was reported earlier this week that there are some contractual issues between Ebi and his employers that need sorting out.
Monday night action saw a sold-out derby take place between Ebi Ere’s Cimberio Varese whom lie in 2nd place in the league, and 3rd place Cheboletta Cantu. In a tightly contested affair that went down to the wire, Bryant Dunston scored two key baskets down the stretch to ensure that Cimberio Varese maintained their unbeaten start to the season and move to the top of the Seri A standings. The most impressive player on the night though was Ebi Ere, the Varese Captain led from he front-line and was relentlessness all night, going 3/5 from beyond the arc and finishing with a game high 19 points.
It was an easy win for Yemi Nicholson and his Energa Czarni side as they lead from start to finish to beat Anwil 82-64. Nicholson finished the game with a modest 9 points and 5 rebounds.
Mike Efevberha did not enjoy a good shooting night in his team 73-82 loss to Triumph Lyubertsy, Mike was 5/19 from the floor and finished with 14 points in the loss.
After hitting six three-pointers and finishing with 29 points in Worcester Wolves 86-54 win over Mersey Tigers on Friday, 6’5 former Alcorn State guard Alex Owumi continued where he left off with a 23 points and 7 rebounds effort, guiding the Worcester Wolves to a 82-66 win over the Sheffield Sharks during Sunday evening tip off, former Clemson standout Olu Babalola finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists for the Sharks. Elsewhere, despite Tayo Ogendengbe’s off scoring night, the young forward finished with 10 points, and ensured that the impressive London Lions notched another win, overcoming the Cheshire Jets 82-75.
The games are coming thick and fast in the Mexican top division, and Ike Ofoegu is proving that he should be ranked amongst the best in the league. The former SMU standout is leading the charge for Toros as they continue the fight to get to the top of the Mexican LNBP. In the win against Fuerza regia played on Tuesday, Ike finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Then came the demolishing of Osos 108-72 in Guadalajara. In Sunday’s night game, Ike finished with 12 points and 10 and 3 rebounds in a 101-94 win over Gigantes.
Ekene Ibekwe’s Lagun Aro are still in search of their first win of the season as they lost at home 75-83 to Mad-Croc, Ibekwe had 7 points and 8 rebounds in the game.
A 23 point effort from Urule Igbavboa was not enough for LF Basket as they went down 77-92 to Sundsvall
It was a very good weekend all round for the Nigerian player’s plying their trade in the Turkish premier division starting with Tofas Bursa Chinemelu Elonu. The former draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers came up big with a double double putting in a gritty performance to earn his side their first win of the season. The score was tied at 68-68 with 30 seconds left, before Josh Heytvelt put the game away with some timely free throws, finishing the game 71-68 in favour of Tofas. Elonu finished with 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
Moving further down from Bursa going to the West of Turkey, another Nigerian, this time an International is making a big statement in the Turkish league. Fresh from dropping 18 and 11 in his first game last week, Pinar Karsiyaka’s Alade Aminu followed that up with 15 points and 8 rebounds in their 86-79 home win over Turkish champions Besiktas. Pinar led from start to finish as they utilized their inside and outside game to down the Turkish Champions in the win. In a charged atmosphere, Pinar started the game at a high pace as the Besiktas team were finding it difficult to keep up, they went into the half leading by 17 points 44-27. At the turn of the 3rd, a Besiktas comeback led by Gasper Vidmar and Serhat Cetin cut the deficit to 10 55-65. Coming into the final quarter both teams traded baskets and Besiktas came as close as 6 points, but a switch in defence to Zone enabled Pinar to halt the Besiktas run and to pull out with the win, their second straight in the League. Four Pinar players finished in double figures in scoring including Aminu who scored 15 in 20 minutes, Pinar also dominated on the boards 40-26.
Alade Aminu Highlights
The Nigerian players in the Italian league continue to raise their standards week by week, this was further confirmed as three players finished with a double double in round Round 4 of the Seri A. Firstly, Cimberio Varese captain Ebi Ere continues to be a thorn in the flesh for the opposition. The 6’5 swing man finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, the most in the team, as Varese held the lead from start to finish, and maintained their unbeaten start to the season, defeating Saie3 Bologna 84-74. Ere finished with 4/8 from three point land. In Caserta, Jeleel Akindele was dominant inside and did not miss a field goal as he continues to improve for his Italian side. The Nigerian International big man in the midst of foul trouble scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as his side JuveCaserta overcame Sutor Montegranaro 78-67. Elsewhere Ndudi Ebi’s Sidigas Avellino were shocked by Vanoli 94-83, although Ndudi Ebi finished witg 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Sidigas were unable to recover from a first half lapse in defense coupled with a lack of ideas on offence earning Vanoli their first win of the season. In the final game of round 4 played on Monday, a valiant effort from Virtus Roma was not enough to see off the Challenge of Milan. In a game where Milan led from start to finish, former Phoenix Sun’s draft pick Gani Lawal produced his best performance of the season yet, showing tremendous desire on defence, blocking shots, grabbing boards and showing a repertoire of highlight dunks to finish with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Roma came within three points in the last quarter, and were a possession away from bringing the game level, but Milan proved to strong, balanced and experienced at the end, and held on for the victory 87-83. Ade Dagunduro who is still coming back from injury finished with a point.
Ebi Ere going to work.
Micheal Ojo of the Plymouth Riders came up big, scoring 27 points including 5/10 from deep to guide his team to a 100-84 win over the Cheshire Jets and remain unbeaten in the league. The 6’5 former Lehigh standout was unstoppable throughout as his shooting and penetration proved too much for the Jets to handle as they finally cracked in the fourth quarter, giving way to the victory. In Worcester, Warriors Alex Owumi came off the bench to score 14 points, but his team would go down 61-79 to the Leicester Riders.Elsewhere Tayo Ogendengbe 17 points and 8 rebounds effort was not enough for London Lions as they lost 83-89 to the Newcastle Eagles.
Ike Ofoegbu is proving to be the main attraction in the Mexican league. The 6’9 forward put in another impressive display to lead Toros to a 84-71 away victory over Osos. A third quarter run by Toros proved too much for Osos to handle after a strong start by the home team. John finished the game with 29 points and 5 rebounds Two days earlier he scored 20 points in 26 minutes in another victory. The games are coming thick and fast in the Mexican league, and his side Toros is currently second in the standings.
After a surprisingly bad start to the season, the coach of LF Basket finally took some notice of Urule Igbavboa’s recent displays and inserted the 6’8 forward into the starting lineup. Urule did not disappoint either as he scored 18 points as LF Basket put in a good shift in the fourth quarter to win 98-87 over ECO Orebro. Speaking to the media after the game, Urule said “We played well, although we still have some problems in defense” . In another part of Sweden, Norrkopping had to rally from behind as Fred Drains drained down three consecutive three pointers ( you see what we did there) to give Norrkoping a 76-71 victory over Nassjo. Oladapo Ayuba finished with 9 points and 5 rebounds.
Former University of Denver star Yemi Nicholson continues his impressive start to the season. In Energa Czarni’s 95-76 win over Polpharma, Yemi scored 19 points and grabbed 2 rebounds in the victory. You can hear him speak more about the game below.
A 12 points and 8 rebounds effort by Uche Amadi-Nsonwu was not enough for ASVEL as they lost for the first time this season, going down 77-90 to Nantes
6’8 Power forward Ike Udanoh scored 6 points and grabbed 5 rebounds as his team Larre Borges lost 69-70 to Trouville.
While Tallinn Kalev are still looking for their first victory of the season, Ike Okoye continue to show that he is a level above the rest, the talented forward scored 14 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, but his team would lose badly 53-101 in the Baltic league.
It was all smiles for Mike Efevberha as his team Spartak Primorie got their season rolling with a 78-64 win away to Locomotiv Kuban, the first time the team has defeated Kuban in six years. At one stage, Primorie had a 20 point advantage but knew that they had to stay focus to come out with the win. They did well to hold on until the In the last quarter when Lokomotiv Kuban went on a run, cutting the deficit to 11 points, but some good shooting towards the end of the game by Mike Efevberha ensured that his team came out with the victory. Efevberha finished the game with 18 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Spartak play Triumph next on Oct 24th.
Irele Igbavboa came of the bench again to produce another dominating performance scoring 16 points and grabbing 7 rebounds, his side LF basket will still lose though, going down 89-96 to Uppsala. Elsewhere a 20 point and 7 rebounds effort from 6’6 small forward Oladapo Ayuba was not enough as his side Norrkoping lost by three points in an intense game against Sundsvall. Down by 10 points at the end of the half, Norrkoping came back in the game, and came as close as two points, but it was too little too late as Sundsvall held on for the victory.
In a pulsating game tonight in the Italian first division, Cimberio Varese led by Captain Ebi Ere overcame current defending champions Montespashi Siena to win their third straight and go to the top of the Italian first division. On the back of some impressive finishes by Ere which included hitting 4/8 from range, Varese lead comfortably for the first three quarters going into the fourth leading by 62-46 before Siena staged a come back on the back of their zone defense. A three pointer by David Moss brought the score to 70-67 with 21 seconds left, Siena had the chance to bring the score even closer, but failed to convert thus a resilient Varese side held on in the final stages to win 74-67. Ebi Ere led all scorers with 20 points 5 rebounds and 3 assists, and Ben Eze could only manage 2 points and 7 rebounds for Siena.
In another part of Italy, Ndudi Ebi put up a man of the match performance with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 5 steals, and 5 blocks to lead Sidigas Avellino to a dominating 80-58 win over Olimpia EA7 Milano. A 7-0 run by Avellino at the start of the game already signaled the way the game was going to go, and the 6’10 Ebi already had a double-double in the second minute of the third quarter. Overall, Ebi’s physical presence both on offense and on defense proved too much for the team from Milan to handle as they failed to find an answer to his versatility Ebi’s talent is unquestionable and Sidigas will be hoping that this breakout performance will be the start of more impressive displays from the power forward Ebi.
21 points and 5 rebounds from Nigerian International Centre Jeleel Akindele was not enough as his side Juve Caserta fell to Angelico Biella 65-82. Caserta where not able to recover from early defensive pressure by the Biella side as they committed 24 turnovers in the loss.
Virtus Roma earned their first home win of the season, defeating Reggio Emilia 77-66, the team from Rome look that they are finally starting to gel as a team, as they took a 30 points lead in the middle of the fourth, Emilia tried to rally back into the game after defensive lapses from the Roma side, but it proved to little to late as the damage was already done. Gani Lawal finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds.
Ndudi Ebi’s Highlights
In the first games of the Turkish season, two Nigerian players had mix fortunes for their sides. Nigerian International Alade Aminu put in a dominating performance for Pinar Karsiyaka as they defeated Mersin 85-73. Pinar’s success came from outside the perimeter as they went 13-23 from three point range. Alade Aminu was very effective around the rim, leading all scorers with 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
In the other side of Turkey, it was not so much good news for Chinemelu Elonu as his team Tofas lost 72-81 to TED Kolejliler. Elonu came off the bench to score 13 points and grabbed 8 rebounds for Tofas.
Alex Owumi showed remarkable offence scoring 19 points in 18 minutes of play as the 6’5 combo guard led Worcester Wolves to a crushing 98-48 victory over Mersey Tigers
Olu Babalola Scored 15 points to lead Sheffield Sharks to a 90-59 win over the Cheshire Jets in the BBL Cup.
Ike Ofoegbu continues his good scoring form as he came of the bench to lead Toros to a 75-63 win over Guerreros. Ike finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds. He followed this effort with a 11 point and 4 rebounds with another victory, demolishing Gansos 102-81.
Ike Okoye continues to impress but his team Tallinn Kallev are still in search of the first win after going down 74-82 to BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn in the Estonian top division. Ike finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth straight double double.
Uche Nsonwu-Amadi scored 4 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as his side ASVEL overcame Boulazac 80-73. He had earlier scored 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in ASVEL’s 72-71 victory over Chalon.
Urule Igbavboa finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds but his team LF Basket would lose to Stockholm 08 75-86. Elsewhere in one of two games, Oladapo Ayuba scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds as Norrkoping lost to Eagles 69-79, he had earlier scored 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds as Norrkoping overcame Solna 85-80
Yemi Nicholson scored 12 points as Energa Czarni defeated Rosa Radom 94-84.
Two Nigerian guards faced off in Norway as rising youngster Stein Otabor scored 10 points off the bench to lead Gimle BBK to an 85-74 victory over Ammerud BSKT. Orji Okoroafor finished with 11 points and 2 assists for Ammerud.
Siena surprising lost at home to Alba Berlin in the first game of the EuroLeague, the game ended 92-82 with Benjamin Eze scoring 7 points.
6’8 forward Ike Ofoegbu continues to prove that he is of the top players in the Mexican league. Ike who plays for no.2 ranked Toros, scored a season high 30 points as they overcame Pioneros 107-96 in a game that went into over-time. Ike is currently averaging 14.6 points per game so far. He was a standout player at Southern Methodist University where he graduated from in 2007 and he is also a member of the Nigerian Senior team.
Italian champions Montepashi Siena lost 77-106 to the San Antonio Spurs in a friendly game played in San Antonio yesterday. 6’10 Center Benjamin Eze was one of the few bright spots for the Siena team as he finished with 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in the loss. It was also the first competitive game for former Nigerian International captain Ime Udoka who became the Spurs assistant coach in the summer. Ime Udoka and Benjamin Eze were team-mates during the 2005 African championships for men in which the finished 3rd.
Two Nigerian-born players and two Ebi’s clashed today as Cimberio Varese beat Sidigas Avellino 91-83. In a very tight contest for the first three quarters , 6’5 swing man Ebi Ere came up on top against 6’9 forward Ndudi Ebi. Ere scored 15 points, and grabbed 8 rebounds as he helped Varese pull away in the fourth quarter to continue their strong start to the season. Ndudi Ebi came off the bench to score 6 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for Sidigas Avellino.
Jeleel Akindele came off the bench for Juve Caserta to score 6 points and grab 11 rebounds as Juve Caserta won their first game of the season, they overcame Cremona 63-60.
Not a good day in the office for Ade Dagunduro and Gani Lawal’s Virtus Roma side, they lost 70-84 to Pallacanestro Cantu. Both players came off the bench with Lawal scoring 4 points and grabbing 3 rebounds, Dagunduro did not register any points in six minutes of play.
6’6 swingman Tayo Ogendengbe continues to impress for the London Lions. Tayo scored 27 points as the Lions won their first game of the season, defeating Surrey Heat 95-91 in a very close encounter.
Meanwhile, 6’5 guard Michael Ojo dropped 16 points as Plymouth Raiders defeated Manchester Giants 105-74
Midweek action - Ike Okoye produced another monster game, scoring 10 points and grabbing 17 boards, his team Tallina Kalev will lose though, going down to TTU 75-77 and thus still looking for their first win if the season.
In the Baltic League, Ike Okoye’s 22 points and 12 rebounds was not able to lift Tallinna Kalev over Lithuanian side Rudupis Prienus. Regardless of the loss, Kalev put in an impressiveness display despite not having some key players present due to injury.
Yemi Nicholson continues to impress off the bench for Polish side Energa Czarni but his team are still looking for their first victory of the season. Nicholson posted 13 points and 6 rebounds as Energa Czarni lost 70-83 to Zgorzelec
Ekene Ibekwe could not help Lagun Aro overcome Asefa Estudiantes. Ibekwe posted 7 points as his side lost 71-83.
Ifiok Adahad and Orji Okoroafor could not help Ammerud as they lost 59-78 to Bergen. Adahada finished with 10 points off the bench and Okoroafor had 8 points and 3 assists. Stein Otabor did not register any points for Bergen.
6’8 forward Urule Igbavboa double double was not enough as his team LF Basket lost 79-82 to Solna. Igbavboa registered 10 points and 11 rebounds. Igbavboa is a former standout of Valparaiso University where he graduated from in 2009.
In the 3rd day of the Turkish Spor Toto Cup, Chinemelu Elonu scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, but his team Tofas Bursa will lose 54-86 to Banvit. It was good news though for Alade’s Aminu Pinar Karsiyaka, his team progressed to the next round with a 72 -63 win over Mersin BSB, Aminu had an impressive game with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Not a good day in the office for the two Nigerian-born players in Turkish league In a weekend of the Turkish Spor Toto Cup, Alade Aminu scored 3 points as his team Pinar Karsiyaka lost 57-76 to Anadolu Efes and Chinemelu Elonu scored 9 points in Tofas Bursa 59-75 loss to TED Kolejliler.
In the Turkish Spo Toto Cup, Alade Aminu scores 10 points and grabs 5 rebounds as his team Pinar Karsiyaka defeated Mersin Metropolitan Municipality 72 -63 in Group A.
In his first league game of the season, Former Boise State standout Ike Okoye came up big with 18 points and 13 rebounds, but his team Talinna Kalev will lose narrowly to Baron Kvartals 75-77. Kalev led most of the way, but a comeback by Kvartals tied the game at 75 apiece, with seconds left in the game, two made free throws by Kvartals swung the game in their favour.
Mike Efevberha made his debut in the Russian league, but his team Spartak Primorie would lose heavily to CSKA Moscow 51-82. Efevberha finished with 9 points 6 rebounds and 3 assists. He will be looking to put this game behind him and look to bounce back when they face Locomotiv on the 18th of October.
In our first installment of our weekly round up of Nigerian athletes in the International scene, TNB gives you the latest updates on what has been an eventful weekend for Nigerian-born basketball players across the continent, enjoy….
Nigerian International Ebi Ere showed why he is going to be one of the most dangerous players to guard this season in the Italian league. The 6’5 combo guard put on an offensive display of high quality as he led his team Cimberio Varese to an electrifying 118-110 over-time victory over Brindisi, the first time the Varese team has ever recorded a victory of Brindisi. In the Italian Capital, Gani Lawal came of the bench to collect 9 points and grabbed 4 rebounds as Virtus Roma held off Scavolini Pesaro for a 75-71 victory, Ade Dagunduro also played his first game for Virtus Roma since he injured his knee in the summer, he recorded 4 points. In the days other games, Jeleel Akindele’s Juve Caserta lost 71-97 to Milan Armani, Akindele will record 14 points and grab 6 rebounds. Ndudi Ebi came of the bench to score 6 points and 5 rebounds, his team Sidigas Avelino lost to Montegranaro 74-82, and finally, Ben Eze’s Siena the defending champions got their second win of the season with a 61-56 victory over Trenkwalder, Eze scored 7 points, he had scored 12 points in their first victory over Brindisi. For highlights of the games check here…http://www.gazzetta.it/Basket/Italia/30-09-2012/milano-sassari-d-autorita-roma-passa-pesaro-912768788547.shtml
Nigerian International Ekene Ibekwe debuted in Spain for his new club Lagun Aro. His team will lose 73-89 to Joventut, with Ibekwe as the second top scorer for Lagun with 13 points. Ibekwe can take solace from the fact that he put in an impressive debut performance and will hope to build on this as the season progresses. You can see highlights of the game below with two huge dunks by Ibekwe.
Former University of Denver standout Yemi Nicholson scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. His team Energi Czarna will lose 74-93 to Stelment Zielona.
Michael Ojo was the top Nigerian-born player in the UK, the 6’5 guard who played for Lehigh University scored 23 points as Plymouth Raiders defeated London Lions 108-86.