Celebrations is still ongoing in Abidjan, Capital city of Ivory Coast as the Abidjan Ramblers defeated Lagos Warriors in an exciting battle to become the champions of the inaugural season of the African Basketball League.
The Championship Game was opened by the Ivorian Minister for Housing and Construction, Mr. Mamadou Sanago, and his host, the Minister of Sports, Franciose Amicha. Mr. Sanago welcomed fans and congratulated both teams on a wonderful season. He invited everyone who traveled from various African countries for the final game to visit the city of Abidjan again.
Despite the strong Warriors defence, Ramblers star American player, Marcus Well, and team captain, Jourdain Allou, carried their team to a 5 point lead, 50 to 45 at the end of the 3rd quarter. The Ramblers never lost the lead as their captain led them to a 61-52 points finish.
After the game, Ramblers team captain was announced Most Valuable Player, MVP, for the finals, after emerging as the highest scorer with 20 points, 8 rebounds and shot 64.3 percent from the Free Throw line.
Finals MVP Jourdain Allou, said that victory was a great achievement for the team.
“We worked hard for this victory. Abidjan Ramblers have made history by winning the inaugural season of the African Basketball League. The league has helped the players to get more exposure in the game of basketball.
“We thank the organizers of the league for putting up the ABL because it has given the players enough privilege to earn a living while playing in Africa like our NBA counterparts,” he said.
Despite his team’s loss, Warriors Coach Chris Nomingo was voted ABL Coach of the Year. Nomingo said: “We had fewer games than the Ramblers this period and so they may have had some advantage playing longer together but that is not taking away the fact that the Ramblers wanted the game more and worked for it. This has been a test run so I am sure everyone will get tougher next season.”
In his closing remark, the CEO of the African Basketball League, Ugo Udezue thanked Africans for believing in the league, he added that ‘’We are increasing the number of teams to ten next season; and in next two years we are going to have 20 teams in the ABL’’.
Udezue also confirmed the next season will dunk off in October.
Music superstar, Sound Sultan, and fast rising hip hop sensation, Korra, entertained the crowd with electrifying music performance at the finals.
The African Basketball League officially dunked off on March 5 2016 at the Landmark Centre in Lagos with six teams; Lagos Islanders, Lagos Warriors, Stallions of Lagos, Dakar Rapids, Libreville Izobe and the current champions, Abidjan Ramblers.