Holders Kano Pillars began the defence of their FIBA Africa Zone Three Championships crown with a 90-75 victory over Benin Republic’s Elan Sportif de Porto Novo at the weekend in Lome, Togo.

The tournament, which serves as qualifiers for the African Club Basketball Championships, is featuring men’s and women’s  teams from Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Togo, and Ghana.

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Pillars captain, Matthew Onmonya, led the floor with 22 points making some three point shots.

Other players who made double figures were Gnimassou Joel of Elan Sportif with 18 points, Tossou Vivien of Elan with 19 points, Akpachi Romaric of the Beninese club with 16 points, while Yahaya Abdul of Kano Pillars also made 14 point.

The Kano-based side take on AS Modele of Togo on Monday in their second game. Nigeria’s other representatives in the men’s event are the Nigeria Customs.

Meanwhile, the country’s women’s basketball league runners-up Dolphins are not taking part in the competition, leaving First Bank as Nigeria’s only representatives in the women’s event.