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AFCCM Zone-III Qualifiers: ASPAC go down to Kano Pillars 72-78, Ellan too - Dec 1, 2009

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ASPAC basketball club of Benin Republic Monday bow to the superior fire power of Nigeria men league champion, Kano Pillars basketball club by 78-72 points in its second game of the FIBA Africa Zone-III qualifying game played at the IRSP gymnase in Ouidah.

The game which is the only game slated for the day now give ASPAC a 1-1 record having won its first qualifying game against Model Basket of Togo by 89-64 but remained second on the five-team round-robin series with 3 points against Pillars two points from one game.

Pillars who finished fifth at the final round of the 2008 edition of the Africa Champions Club for Men in Tunisia will take to the floor against the second Benin side, Ellan basketball club who have kept a clean record so far on Tuesday as the games progresses while Liberia NPA Pythons will engage Model Basket of Togo in the other game of the day with ASPAC basketball club drawn bye.

Speaking on telephone with our correspondent after the lose to Kano Pillars ASPACs Nigerian-born tactician, Peter Ahmedu says his side lost to a better side but remain optimistic of picking one of the two ticket to the Rwanda finals.

Coach Ahmedu whose side will not taste action for the next two days says the period will afford his side technical crew to assess level of fitness of some of the players for the remaining two games against Ellan and NPA Pythons of Liberia.

The former Dodan Warriors basketball club of Nigeria assistant coach praises his players for giving the star-studded Pillars side coached by Nigeria senior national team assistant coach, Sani Ahmed a good fight.

'Yes we lost to a better side on Monday because the Kano Pillars side is what can be termed the assemblage of Nigeria home-based national team and I must commend my players for standing their ground against the Nigerian side.

'I have confidence in the ability of my players to deliver when it matters most as we are set to pick one of the two available tickets to the final round billed for Rwanda next month by winning our remaining games against Ellan of Benin and Pythons of Liberia, the ASPAC coach concluded.

And continuing with its good run in the zone-III elimination Kano Pillars Tuesday afternoon defeated the second team representing Benin Republic, Ellan basketball club of Port Novo by 72-46 points to stop the unbeaten run of the Port Novo-based side whose record is now 2-1 but still remain top of the five team qualifying series.

The Nigerian side will take on Togolese Model Basket Club of Lome on Thursday while ASPAC will do battle against NPA Pythons basketball club of Liberia, as Wednesday will be observed as rest day for all the teams. Stanley Gumut (197-F-86)   

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