19 June 2007

SEYCHELLES : Mixed team sweep defence-less men’s pre-selection

The Seychelles men’s pre-selection neglected this part of the game and they too were swept by the mixed team in the two-game friendly test.

After a 66-68 game one loss, the men’s pre-selection, coached by Alix Allisop and assistant Clifford Joubert, won the tip-off of Sunday’s game two at Victoria Gymnasium but succumbed to a second defeat.

After an almost even first quarter which ended 16-15 in their favour, the Seychelles pre-selection outscored the mixed team 26-14 in the second quarter for a 13-point half-time lead (42-29).

Coaches Jude Talma and Gregoire Scholastique knew they had a good chance of turning the game into their advantage as they had on their mixed team roster some quality players in the likes of Tanzanian Abdallah ‘Dulla’ Ramadhan, Ugandan Stephen Omony, Nigerian Reuben Kolawole, Seychellois Hendricks Denis, Michael Cupidon, Daniel Dodin and Abdel Sylla to name a few.

Getting a game-high 19 points from Kolawole, the mixed team made the pre-selection turn the ball over and with a weak and at times no defence at all to try and stop them, they converted their chances to outscore coach Allisop’s boys 22-19 and 23-12 for a 74-73 win.

Omony added 16 points, ‘Dulla’ 14 and Dodin scored eight straight in the fourth quarter for the mixed team.

As for the pre-selection, they got a team-leading 16 points from shooting guard Jefferson Nganga who fouled out along with centre Rodney Lozé.

The two defeats should prove to the coaching staff of the men’s pre-selection that there is still work to be done to get the Seychelles team in the right shape come the Seventh Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) in Madagascar from August 9 to 19.

Although a win would have been good for the pre-selection’s morale, a defeat can also be considered a good result in a friendly match, especially when a team are preparing for an international competition.
The main thing is for the pre-selection to play more of such matches against probably the same mixed team and even tougher foreign sides so that the players get to gel.
The coaching staff should be prepared to throw things out and add things, like most other systems.

The players have to show character which is a big part of the game. They have to find a way to answer when the opponents make a run, keep their composure and find a way to win, no matter what.
The decision by the Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) to suspend the Men’s division 1A league until after the IOIG, could prove to be a big error because without any competitive matches, it will be difficult to imagine the players playing their best basketball.

Two other things the SBF probably did not think about before taking the decision are:
Who will replace the players on the pre-selection in the event of injury to some of them when all the best local players who are not on the squad aren’t involved in any competition?

What do clubs do with their foreign players during the three-month spell when the league has been suspended?

G. G.

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