NAF Rockets coach, Usman Abba has attributed the loss suffered by his team in Thursday’s league game against Rivers Hoopers to the absence of some key players in the team.

Rivers Hoopers overpowered newly promoted NAF Rockets 91-54 on Thursday but coach Usman insists that the Port Harcourt based team were just lucky to catch his team on a ‘bad day’

"Today (Thursday) happened to be our bad day," began a sombre Abba.

"If you look at the crop of guys in our team you will see we played 9 against 12 due to one thing or the other. Some of our guys couldn’t make it here if not we would have done better and they were among our first five about three of them," he explained further.

Usman Abba however seems sure his team can shock Hoopers when they visit Lagos in the second round.

"I guarantee you guys that when Hoopers come to Lagos, they will bring back different news courtesy of us," he boasted.

Rivers Hoopers head coach, Ogoh Odaudu admitted his side took advantage of their weakened opponent from Lagos.

“It was a good game for us despite the fact that we were playing against a very weak team they had only 9 players," Ogoh posited.

The former Nigeria international also sympathized with the plight of his opponents and commended their performance in the midst of their troubles.

"They traveled over the night from Lagos to Port Harcourt, got here early this morning and I can imagine the level of tiredness. But they put up a good fight you couldn’t tell that they were that tired. All in all it was a good game for us,” said Odaudu.