28 September 2008

SEYCHELLES : Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup

HIS year’s Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup will dribble off on Monday October 13 after the draw made earlier this month was released by the National Basketball Technical Committee.

There won’t be a repeat of last year’s men’s final between PLS Hawks and Premium Cobras as the two big guns could meet as early as the quarterfinals this time.
Drawn in the top half, defending champions PLS Hawks will start the defence of their title on Tuesday October 21.

In the event of a second round-win against either one of the three second division teams – AAP Brothers, Mont Fleuri Dawgz and Pointe Larue Falcons – the Hawks will progress to the quarterfinals against former winners Premium Cobras.

HotShots are aiming to achieve a hat-trick of SBF Cup wins
In last year’s best-of-three final, coach Tony Juliette’s PLS Hawks scorched Premium Cobras 80-61 in game three to complete a League and Cup double for a third time in seven years. The first two triumphs were in 2001 and 2005 under the leadership of former coach Clifford Joubert.
Premium Cobras won game one 72-68 but were pounded 102-64 in game two.
The other top flight teams in the same half of the draw are Cascade Bullets and Razors.
Men’s Division One title contenders Baya are favourites to make the final from the bottom half of the draw, but coach Michel Malbrook’s team’s first match is against either Cadets or Juniors.
The 10 bottom division teams play against each other in the first round of the competition and four of them will make it to the second round.

In the women’s competition, reigning champions HotShots and last year’s losing finalists Anse Etoile Stars have been drawn apart. There is a big chance that they will meet again in the best-of-three final.
On paper, Hotshots should have no problem making the final as they have Cadettes and Juniors to take care of in their first two games. Coached by Philip Arrisol, HotShots’ target is to achieve a hat-trick of SBF Cup wins.
Winners for the first time in 2006, HotShots took the shine off the Stars – sweeping the 2007 best-of-three final series by edging coach Michel Malbrook’s team 51-49 in game one before winning game two on a 71-44 score.
During the second quarter of game two, HotShots did what probably no other local or foreign team had done before against the Stars – keeping them at bay for one whole quarter and forcing them to fire blanks while scoring 23 points of their own.
As for the Stars, who play in the bottom half of the draw, they will have to eliminate RA Sisters in their first match before clashing with the much-improved Mont Fleuri in the semifinals.
The dates of the three finals are November 2, 8 and 9. In the event of one team winning the first two matches, there won’t be a need for a third match.
Meanwhile, HotShots and Anse Etoile Stars are to meet this afternoon (at 2pm at the Palais des Sports) in a crucial league match which could well decide the 2008 Women’s League champions.
Unbeaten in nine games, HotShots only need to win to crowned champions, while the Stars have to get at least a 12-point difference victory to harbour the hope retaining their crown.

G. G.

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