23 June 2008

SEYCHELLES : Omony a factor in first match

HE was a factor in his first game of the season as PLS Hawks brushed aside Baya’s challenge in an 87-78 win to stay in the race for this year’s Men’s Division One title.

Reigning basketballer of the year, Ugandan Stephen Omony came off the bench to score aOmony (no. 12) attacks the Baya hoop game-high 18 points on Saturday at the Palais des Sports as the Hawks continued their march towards the defence of their own title.
Happy with the win, coach Tony Juliette told Sports Nation that “we’re still in the race. The second-round fixture between PLS Hawks and Premium Cobras is going to be a cracker.”
Baya looked capable of inflicting a second first-round defeat on the Hawks as they led 22-17 at the end of the first quarter, but they lacked a strong bench to take the baton from the starters.
Although PLS Hawks outscored them 27-18 in the second quarter for a four-point – 44-40 – half-time lead, Baya kept themselves in the match until coach Tony Juliette’s team used a 15-8 run spanning from midway through the third 10-minute spell.
Seychelles centre Rodney Lozé completed the run with a three-point play when fouled by Robert Léon on a lay-up in the first minute of the fourth quarter to give PLS Hawks their first double-digit lead at 10 points – 69-59.
The game got out of Baya’s hands when Omony tipped in a missed attempt and followed that with an effort from downtown to bring the score to 78-66 with 5 minutes 12 seconds (5:12) left to play.
Although Baya scored 12 more points, they conceded nine as PLS Hawks ran home with victory – their eighth in nine games for 17 points, the same total as leaders premium Cobras who came from the dead to beat them 89-86 on the back of a season-leading 52 points from Nigerian Alao Solomon.
The Hawks, who also won the third and fourth quarters on identical scores of 22-19, can thank their bench for 51 of their points. Other than Omony’s 18 points, Lozé got 16 and Jefferson Nganga netted 15.

Despite their bench getting just 30 points – 17 of those from Seychelles international Dave Roseline, Baya’s starters outscored that of PLS Hawks 48-36.
The loss is Baya’s second in nine games and they are third in the 10-team standings with 16 points. Baya’s other loss came against MBU Rockers on a 75-83 score.
So far this year, the Hawks have beaten Baya twice. Their other was on a 79-64 score in the final of the Jhelum Cup tournament (the new name of the annual Curtain-raiser tournament). Baya won against them 71-64 in the Charity match.

Meanwhile, in the Men’s Division Two, Mont Fleuri Dawgz look good for promotion to the top flight next season with a 70-58 win over Juniors to bring their points tally to 19 after nine wins and one loss in 10 games. They have ended the first of the two-round league at the top of the 11-team table.

In another match in the same division, RA Rockets also got a 51-43 win over Drifters.

G. G.

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