Nigeria’s remaining continental campaigners, Civil Defenders Basketball Club of Abuja will set the ball rolling in their maiden Africa Elite 8 League campaign at home against AS Sale next Saturday, March 30th.
Ahead of their jump ball in the Elite 8, The Defenders qualified from the preliminary stage in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
Other teams in the African Top 8 bracket include; ES Rades/JS Kairouan; Primeiro de Agosta/Petro de Luanda and Smouha/Al Ahly.
Nigerian basketball buffs are unanimous that Defenders were able to pick an Elite 8 ticket in their very first outing on the continent because they were determined and followed up with all effort they could muster.
Defenders reached the Elite 8 contest of the 2019 FIBA Africa Basketball League with a 62-58 win over Elan Sportif of Benin Republic.
The Defenders were able to curb their hosts on the offense with 39 defensive boards made, compared to 29 made by Elan, who could not take advantage of home support from their fans in Cotonou.
They then took a 10 point-lead going to the final quarter 60-50 which was later trimmed down to 4 after they were outscored by Elan 18-12.
Ocheibi Okpe, Ibe Agu and Umar Garba all combined for 43 points against the hosts, to book a ticket to The Defenders from the game.
Okpe had 16 points, 16 rebound double double, Garba added 14 points and five rebounds while Agu scored and six rebounds for Defenders.
Garba had another opportunity to stretch the lead with 12 seconds remaining after winning a foul but missed both free throws which was not well utilized by Elan who missed a three-pointer after the rebound.
It mean The Defenders emerged winners over Elan for the second time in their second meeting in front of their home crowd.