13 March 2007
SEYCHELLES : Premium Cobras v PLS Hawks friendly
THE 2007 season hasn’t dribbled off but the expectation is high among the Premium Cobras’ and PLS Hawks’ fans after seeing their teams in action in Sunday’s (March 11) friendly match at the Palais des Sports.Despite trailing for long spells, Premium Cobras won 70-64 against the Hawks whose fans applauded as Jefferson Nganga made his comeback after a year-long self-imposed retirement and Bernard Bristol, who is serving a two-year ban, played his first game in over a year.
They were both introduced into the match by Clifford Joubert, who is back as PLS Hawks’ coach, midway through the first quarter. After Bristol’s long 3-point shot attempt skimmed off the rim and out, Nganga completed a three-point play after being fouled by Tony ‘Siro’ Moustache when attempting a lay-up which sank in to bring the score to 15-11 in his team’s favour
Nganga then lined up beyond the 3-point arc to drill a long trey, helping PLS Hawks to a one-point lead at the end of the first 10-minute spell (18-17).
Without a playmaker on the court, Premium Cobras had problems setting their offence and were therefore outscored 19-14 by PLS Hawks who went for the breather with a six-point advantage (36-31).
The Hawks needed a little over three minutes to build a double digit lead at 44-34 on a Nigel Annette lay-up, but the Cobras used a 16-6 run inside four minutes to get back on level terms at 50-50 on a Lenny ‘Bad’ Aglaé lay-up with 1 minute 18 seconds (1:18) left in the third quarter which ended all square at 52-52.
Under the guidance of coach Guy Hall, Premium Cobras took the game to PLS Hawks in the fourth and final quarter, stepping up their play to lead 66-56 on a Tanzanian Abdallah ‘Dulla’ Ramadhan 3-pointer after an inbounds pass from new recruit Francis ‘Toy’ Herminie with 4:22 left on the clock.
With coach Joubert calling for a time-out with 1:43 left to play to rethink tactics, PLS Hawks bridged the gap to four points – 68-64 – on a Thomas Collie lay-up and a Barry Baron jumper, although ‘Bad’ got a top-of-the key jumper in between.
Presented with an opportunity to try and save the match with 25 seconds before the final whistle when Premium Cobras’ Christopher ‘Toto’ Camille turned the ball over, PLS Hawks fluffed it.
‘Toto’ stole Collie’s inbounds pass to score the game’s final basket for the 70-64 win.
Cobras’ ‘Bad’ finished as the game’s top scorer with 19 points and he was helped on the offensive end by ‘Dulla’ with 17 points and ‘Toto’ with 14.
Veteran power forward and captain Jim Domingue, who netted the game’s first basket, led the Hawks in scoring with 13 points, while Nganga added 12.
The game was an opportunity for players of the two teams to break the rust after not being in action since late November 2006.
Both coaches know that they have a lot of work to do to get their players to the right fitness level and to playing the game in a coordinated manner.
Speaking to Sports Nation at the end match, Premium Cobras’ president Roy Collie said he was satisfied with the turnout for the match the two teams had organised to raise funds for different purposes this season.
He added that he would like to organise a one-day three-team tournament involving Premium Cobras, PLS Hawks and Baya some time this year, but will have to wait and see if he is granted permission.
PLS Hawks’ assistant coach Tony Juliette noted that the match wasn’t of a very good level, but was happy his players did get to play after a long break.
“We look forward to more of such friendly matches organised for a worthy cause,” he added.