NPBL Round Up: Kwara Falcons regain Atlantic Conference Top Spot

first_imgKwara Falcons regained top spot from erstwhile leaders, Rivers Hoopers on Thursday, following the conclusion of matches in the Nigerian Premier Basketball League.The Ilorin-based Falcons defeated Nigeria Customs 89-64, to soar to the top of the standing with one more game of the regular season to be played on Saturday.In Lagos, third-place Hoops and Reads 71-69 victory over Rivers Hoopers, meant the debutant privately-sponsored club ended Rivers Hoopers dominance at the top of the table with the two-point win.David Edward of Hoops and Reads led the game scoring with 18 points, while teammate Ifeoluwa Balogun was a beast for the duration of the game, recording 14 rebounds.Oluyole Warriors overcame the challenge from sixth-place Police Baton, 82-69, as both teams gear up for a place in the conference 6 playoff s which commences in less than a fortnight. In the game of relegation battlers, NAF Rockets defeated Delta Force 77-48, to give them a slight ray of hope going into the final day of the regular season.NAF Rockets play Rivers Hoopers on the final day, as they require a win against a team which will be eager to finish top of the standing, implication meaning Rockets job appears to be mission impossible. Delta Force, seventh on the table, plays high flying Hoops and Reads.In the event both teams lose their games, NAF Rockets will be relegated due to Delta Force superior head-head record (3-1) over the Rockets. Relatedlast_img read more

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Mourinho set to ring the changes for Southampton test

first_imgChelsea manager Jose Mourinho has hinted that he will ring the changes to his side when they welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.A run of three straight victories for Jose Mourinho’s men came to an abrupt end with a 2-2 draw at struggling Newcastle United and a 2-1 defeat to Porto in the UEFA Champions League over the last week.And next up come a Saints side who have rediscovered their form after winning their last two matches, scoring nine goals in the process.Mourinho, therefore, has hinted at further changes on Saturday evening as he looks to return his side to winning ways.”There are rotations, we always try to do a little bit,” he said. “Mentally, it is important, physically it is important, but there is also a part of the rotation which is because of the instability of the performances.”If you play well for four or five matches you get stability, you keep the core. It is normal. If not, it is normal that you always try to find solutions and win the next game.”Mourinho, who has led his side to just eight points from seven matches, has never lost to Southampton in the BPL, although both of last season’s encounters ended in 1-1 draws. “They [Southampton] are a good team,” he said. “A team that last season we couldn’t beat in the two matches, although we know that we could have won them. We know why we couldn’t win.”The match at home we had unbelievable dominance but we respect them a lot. For sure, they are going to give us a difficult match.”Despite the champions’ struggles this season, Southampton defender Cedric Soares is in no doubt as to the Portuguese manager’s ability and is relishing the chance to play against one of England’s biggest sides.”Everybody knows that the qualities he [Mourinho] has, he is an amazing coach,” the 24-year-old told the Southern Daily Echo. “It will be a pleasure for me to play against him and for sure it will be a great game. “It is a big game and every player wants to play those big games. It is about football.”Big stadiums, big environment; you want to play that high level and Chelsea is one of the best teams, so everybody wants to play. We will do our best to win.”Despite their back-to-back wins Ronald Koeman’s side’s away form leaves room for improvement, with no league win on the road in 10 matches; a run only equalled by Newcastle United.The Dutchman will hope Graziano Pelle can continue to find the net scoring four goals in seven matches. Meanwhile, Chelsea do not have a single player who has scored more than one goal in the league.Striker Diego Costa is suspended and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (knee) is still a long-term absentee, while Southampton have been coping without Steven Caulker, Jordy Clasie, Fraser Forster and Florin Gardos. Chelsea (from): Begovic, Blackman, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Djilobodji, Ivanovic, Rahman, Terry, Zouma, Fabregas, Hazard, Loftus-Cheek, Matic, Mikel, Oscar, Ramires, Traore, Willian, Falcao, Kenedy, Pedro, Remy.Southampton (from): K Davis, Gazzaniga, Stekelenburg, Bertrand, Cedric, Fonte, Martina, McCarthy, Targett, Van Dijk, Yoshida, S Davis, Isgrove, Mane, McQueen, Ramirez, Reed, Romeu, Tadic, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Juanmi, Long, Pelle, Rodriguez.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

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