15 September 2008

SEYCHELLES : Baya upset Premium Cobras, send title race wide open

IT was their first ever win against Premium Cobras at the Palais des Sports. And an important one it was indeed on an 83-72 score. In Saturday’s pulsating top-of-the-table clash, Baya upset Premium Cobras who fielded a star-studded team as they gave a debut to new recruit Adama Bamba of Ivory Coast.

Baya’s playmaker Laval (with ball) drives into the Premium Cobras defence

Baya looked out of sorts early in the game as Premium Cobras led 18-11 forcing coach Michel Malbrook to call for a time-out with 3 minutes 53 seconds (3:53) left to play in the first quarter. His team scored five more points, while their opponents netted six including a Nigerian Alao Solomon 3-pointer from way down-town to close the first quarter at 24-16.
Coach Guy Hall’s Premium Cobras used a 7-2 run to open an 11-point gap (31-20) with 2:30 elapsed in the second quarter, but Baya’s international playmaker Giovanni Laval, who had a fine game in organising his team’s play, twice equalised at 31-31 and 35-35 with treys.

Still Premium Cobras went for the breather in the lead at 37-36.

Although Dave Roseline and Hendrick Denis fouled out late in the third quarter and with Jean-Paul ‘JP’ Camille playing on four personal fouls, Baya made their intention clear in the third 10-minute spell.
On sharp shooter JP’s second consecutive 3-pointer with 2:20 gone in the third quarter, they led 42-41 and they stayed in front by scoring well from behind the arc, on the baseline, lay-ups and from the free-throw line.
At the end of 30 minutes of play, Baya led 61-59 and although Premium Cobras pulled level at 63-63 early in the fourth period they just could not get Baya under their thumb.

Baya, who won the last three quarters 20-13, 25-22 and 22-13, pulled away and with 4:27 left on the clock they were leading 71-65 on two JP free-throws. It took Premium Cobras three minutes to score again (81-67) with 1:27 remaining through Adama who got 10 points, but Baya had almost wrapped things up.
As they ran down the clock on the way to their second league win on an 83-72 score against Premium Cobras this season – the only team to have beaten the former champions in the Men’s Division One championship after their 71-59 first-round victory – Baya have sent the league race wide open.

Both Baya and Premium Cobras have two losses to their names, but the former have 28 points to lead the 10-team standings. While the Cobras are third on 26 points after 12 wins and two defeats, defending champions PLS Hawks are second on 27. They have won 13 and lost one, putting them in a good position to claim the title which is far from being decided.
With 23 individual points including four 3-pointers, Laval, who got valuable help in offence from Seychelles international sharp shooter JP with 28 points including five treys, and centre Robert Léon with 25, had this to say to Sports Nation after the match:
“It was a must-win situation for us. We had to do it to stay in the title hunt. We ran down the clock well and I feel we’re more mature as a team now. That’s good but we have to keep our heads on our shoulders. We have a tricky clash coming up against MBU Rockers and I hope all the players will be up to the task.”
Baya lost 75-83 to MBU Rockers in the first-round.
Premium Cobras were led in scoring by Solomon with 24 points.

Warriors stop Dynamics to extend win run

Praslin Warriors had four players – Joseph Souffe (22 points), Ronny Julienne (16), captain Jackson Auguste (13) and Edmond Félicie (11) – scoring in double figures as they brought their wining run to two games in a close 67-65 defeat of visitors RC Dynamics at the Grand Anse Praslin court on Saturday.
The win was the Warriors’ fifth in 15 games for 20 points, while RC Dynamics saw their three-win spell come to an end despite centre Emanuel Larue getting a game-leading 26 points. They are now on 21 points after seven wins and seven defeats.
Beau Vallon Heat scorched Razors 74-65 to add more pressure on the bottom team as Marlon Marimba scored a game-high 22 point for coach Valli Ismaël’s team.
The win was the Heat’s second in 14 games for 16 points, while the Razors are almost sure of making the drop to the bottom division at the end of the season. They have 14 points from one win and 13 defeats – one of those through walkover.

Dawgz win again

In a Men’s Division Two match, Mont Fleuri Dawgz, who played without Didier Valmont who has been hit with a three-match suspension for fighting, collected an important 74-64 win over rivals Anse Etoile.
After 15 wins in 16 games, the Dawgz have 31 points to lead the championship standings and they look good for promotion. As for Anse Etoile, the defeat was their fourth in 17 games for 30 points.

Meanwhile, HotShots have brought their winning run to eight games in the Women’s League as Juniors could not field a team.

RA Sisters got 26 points from Sylvia Sophie and 22 from veteran player/coach Lina Lestrange in a 82-29 defeat of Cadettes.
The Sisters have now brought their points tally to 11 after three wins and five losses, while Cadettes have just one victory in eight games for nine points.

G. G.

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