By Oluwafemi Adefeso
21 points, 9 rebounds and 6 steals from 2015 Nigeria league Most valuable player Yahaya Abdul was not enough for Kano Pillars, as they fell 76-88 to Association Sportive de Sale of Morroco in the 3rd place playoffs at the FIBA Africa Champions Cup currently holding in Cairo, Egypt.
The Nigeria champions fell to the superior Morrocan side who led from start to finish, winning every quarter (21-15),(19-18),(23-19) and (25-24) as Pillars talisman Abubakar Usman suffered a shooting slump with a disappointing 1 of 12 from 3 point range and the team shooting 27% compared to 42% from their opponents from beyond the arc.
American Brandon Freeman led the onslaught from Sale with 30 points – 18 points from 3 point range coupled with 3 assists and Abdelhakim Zouita adding 23 points and 7 assists as they took out a poor Pillars side to record their third, 3rd place finish (2010,2011,2016) at the African premier club basketball tournament.
The Sanni Ahmed led Kano Pillars recorded their best performance on the continent narrowly missing out on equaling the record set by Dodan Warriors Basketball club in 2006 where they finished 3rd overall.