04 December 2006
SEYCHELLES : Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup - HotShots, Premium Cobras take game one
HOTSHOTS and Premium Cobras are just one match away from hoisting the trophies of the 2006 edition of the Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup.
Winners on Saturday of game one of the women’s and men’s best-of-three final series, HotShots (48-31 against Mont Fleuri) and Premium Cobras (74-68 against PLS Hawks), can wrap up the titles by winning game two.
It remains to be seen if Mont Fleuri and PLS Hawks’ Omony drives past Premium Cobras’ BadPLS Hawks can stay alive and force a decisive third match. Will it happen? The answer will be known this coming Saturday. Both Mont Fleuri and PLS Hawks have said that they can and will win the next encounters to pull even.
Among the fans at the Palais des Sports were Denis Rose, principal secretary for the Arts, Culture and Sports, and Father Christmas who carried with him a white pigeon, symbolising peace.
Fontaine leads HotShots
Guilty of some easy misses and not benefiting from friendly rebounds early in the match, Mont Fleuri were outscored 14-0 by a more composed and confident HotShots in the first quarter and when they decided to adopt a man-to-man marking strategy, they got their first two points through Bernadette Songor with just under a minute played in the second quarter.
With top scorer Beguitta Fontaine, who finished with 15 points, netting two of her three treys in the second 10-minute spell, HotShots’ Fontaine drives to the basket and is fouled by Mont Fleuri’s Marline IsidoreHotShots scored another 14 points to go for the breather with a comfortable 22-point advantage (28-6).
Although Mont Fleuri, who swept last year’s losing finalists Bel Air in the semifinals, tried to rescue the match by concentrating a lot on offence to outscore HotShots 12-4 at the end of the third quarter, they could not distance themselves from their opponents as they tied 13-13 after the fourth despite veteran skipper Williana Dubois scoring two consecutive 3-pointers late in the match.
Myra Solin was the other HotShots player in double figures with 12 points, while Bernadette Songor, who finished with the same total, was the top scorer for Mont Fleuri who had trouble stopping HotShots’ centre and captain Tina Agathine from dominating both the offensive and defensive boards.
“My team played a good first half but with a healthy lead at half-time, they lost the intensity in the second, probably thinking they had sewn up the game. We should not commit this same mistake in the second match as we want to close the series early,” HotShots’ coach Philip Arissol told Sports Nation.
As for Mont Fleuri’s skipper Dubois, she said that “we played poorly today (Saturday) and we have to win game two.”
Premium Cobras go 6-0 against PLS Hawks
With their three main scorers – Tanzanian Adballah ‘Dulla’ Ramadhan, James Beier and Lenny ‘Bad’ Aglaé – in foul trouble early in the fourth quarter, Premium Cobras used a 12-8 run in an eight-minute spell to put the game away and win game one 75-68 against PLS Hawks.In fact, Premium Cobras, who are Premium Cobras’ Dulla performs a two-hand slamunbeaten in six matches against PLS Hawks this year, won the first and fourth quarters 28-20 and 15-12 respectively, but were tied 12-12 in the third and lost the second 20-24.
Despite fouling out with 2 minutes 23 seconds (2:23) left on the clock in the final period, ‘Bad’, who controlled the defensive board bringing down some huge rebounds, top-scored for Premium Cobras with 16 points, while both ‘Dulla’ and Danny Bertin made 15-point contributions. Nigerian Reuben Kolawole and Beier added 10 points apiece.
With Rodney Lozé unable to score in the first half after getting 11 points in the first period coming off the substitutes’ bench, PLS Hawks relied on Ugandan Stephen Omony for scoring and he finished with a game-leading 29 points, 11 of which came in the second quarter alone. Omony twice gave PLS Hawks the lead in the second quarter at 41-40 when he rebounded his own miss to score with 2:32 left on the clock and at 43-42 less than a minute later.
Veteran skipper and power forward Jim Domingue added 11 points for PLS Hawks, who achieved a League and Cup double last season but need to win the SBF Cup to salvage their season after losing the Men’s division 1A League championship title to Premium Cobras this year.
Both teams are expected to welcome back key players in the second game – playmaker Thomas Collie for PLS Hawks and forward Dominic Pillay for Premium Cobras – after sitting out game one with bruised fingers.
Speaking to Sports Nation, Premium Cobras team president Roy Collie said that “it wasn’t a beautiful match as we knew that PLS Hawks were not going to take things lightly as they were 5-0 down. Going up 6-0 is good and we want to make it 7-0. But it won’t be easy. We will be all out to win the final in two matches.”
For PLS Hawks’ coach Tony Juliette, who got some tips from former assistant coach Clifford Joubert in the stands, he explained that Lozé did not deliver in attack.
“Omony did what he had to do, but Lozé remained quiet in the second half. We have to step up our play to win game two,” he said.