17 April 2007
SEYCHELLES : Curtain-raiser tournament finals - Premium Cobras retain title, HotShots triumph
PREMIUM COBRAS beat Cascade Bullets on Sunday at the Palais des Sports to retain the men’s Curtain-raiser title whilst Anse Boileau-based HotShots replaced Anse Etoile Stars as women’s champions after defeating newly formed RA Sisters.
In between the day’s two finals, Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) chairman Paul Denis presented Léon Bonnelame with a R5,300 cheque.
Now an amputee as a result of an illness, Mr Bonnelame contributed greatly towards the progress and development of basketball in Seychelles in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The money was collected during the charity matches organised by the SBF last month.
Speaking at the short ceremony, Mr Bonnelame, who almost shed some tears, thanked the SBF for being generous, adding that it was good to see that some people still care for others.
Cobras defeat Bullets
Cascade Bullets, who eliminated RC Dynamics in the semifinal last Saturday, started the match on a very high tempo, taking an early 19-7 lead with playmaker Kenneth Sophie scoring eight points in the first quarter. But Premium Cobras, who got off to a slow start, cut the deficit to 19-15 at the end of the first 10 minutes of play, despite the Bullets applying a well-coordinated defence.
In the second quarter, Abdallah ‘Dulla’ Ramadhan took matters in his own hands, notching up 13 of his 28 points to help Premium Cobras take the lead for the first time in the game at 24-23 on one of Danny Bertin’s six 3-pointers. But the Bullets still went for the break with a six-point – 42-36 – advantage.
The third quarter was the turning point of the match. The Bullets could not hold on to their rhythm as the Cobras stepped up in defence, allowing coach Grégoire Scholastique’s team to score just 11 points, while netting 31 of their own.
At the end of the third quarter, the Cobras led 67-53.
The fourth and last quarter was a formality for Premium Cobras as they had already done the hard work in the previous one. They again outscored the Bullets 25-21 for an 88-78 win.
The Bullets’ Kenneth Sophie was the match’s top scorer with 35 points.
According to Premium Cobras team president Roy Collie, they were expecting some resistance from Cascade Bullets as it was a final.
“They put up a really good fight and we appreciate that. We congratulate them. I would also like to congratulate my players for playing three tough matches in as many days against tough opponents. This is good preparation for the Indian Ocean Club Championship,” Collie told Sports Nation.
For his part, the Bullets’ coach Grégoire Scholastique said that a lack of experience cost them the match.
“We led throughout the first and second quarters and we just didn’t work hard on defence in the second half. Premium Cobras have some quality players, especially ‘Dulla’ who is unstoppable and I would like to congratulate them,” said Scholastique.
HotShots succeed the Stars
In the women’s final, the more experienced HotShots dominated newly formed RA Sisters 69-30.Under the captaincy of Tina Agathine who made a game-high 20-point contribution, HotShots applied a half-court press which confused the RA Sisters’ players. They won the first quarter 14-6.
In the second 10-minute spell, HotShots, who eliminated last year’s champions Anse Etoile Stars in the semifinal, maintained the pressure and scored another 14 points compared to RA Sisters’s 8.
Almost assured of victory, HotShots kept playing strong in attack to outscore RA Sisters 19-9 and 22-7 in the third and fourth quarters.
Belinda Andrew was the only RA Sisters player in double figures with 14 points.
HotShots’ playmaker Brenda Arissol described her team’s performance as satisfactory even though they started the match a bit slow.
“Although they are a new team, RA Sisters played quite well. Our training sessions are disrupted at times as not all players can attend training. I would like to thank our loyal fans for their continuous support,” said Arissol.
RA Sisters’ captain Nadia Ah-kong said they are very proud to have reached the final.
“We are a new team and we have a lot to learn before we can reach the required level. We are going to work hard to achieve better results and bring more competition in women’s basketball here,” noted Ah-kong.