07 April 2009
SEYCHELLES : National championship - Big guns off to good start
IT’S not going to be an easy ride to the men’s division one championship title this season. This is the message the so-called ‘small teams’ are sending out to the big guns just one week into the season as they refuse to be pushed around.
There was no surprise in five matches over the weekend at the Palais des Sports, but judging from the level of play of some teams, there might be some around the corner.
Baya 79 … Mont Fleuri Dawgz 68
For their first match in the top flight, last year’s division two winners Mont Fleuri Dawgz ‘JP’ scored 24 points in Baya’s winwere up against defending champs Baya and their deadly shooter Jean-Paul ‘JP’ Camille – the best player of 2008.
Getting 20 points, including four 3-pointers from playmaker Reggie Ah-kong, whose father Nigel Ah-kong – a former playmaker with Premium Cobras and the Seychelles’ national team – is the team’s coach, the Dawgz were not intimidated by Baya and they made life difficult for them throughout despite losing 68-79.
Dawgz also got 15 points from centre Jim Créa and 11 from Steven André in a losing debut.
‘JP’ had the hot hands for Baya with 24 points, including two 3-pointers, and he was helped in offence by forward Dave Roseline with 20 points and centre Robert Léon with 18, while Nigel Annette – who is back with the team after a lean spell with PLS Hawks – got 12 (all from beyond 3-point range).
Praslin Warriors 44 … MBU Rockers 79
Paced by swingman Cyril Agrippine with 20 points, Keven Morel with 18 and playmaker Nigel Sinon with 14, the Rockers rocked the Warriors 79-44 for a good start to the season.
With just six players, it was always going to be a tough match for Praslin-based Warriors as the Rockers, coached by Alvin Alcindor, won all four quarters 21-7, 14-12, 26-14 and 16-11 for a convincing win.
Jackson Auguste led the Warriors in scoring with 16 points.
Angels 61 … RC Dynamics 58
Before fouling out, Kieren Agathine did his job for Angels with 24 individual points as his team weathered Dynamics’ late storm to prevail 61-58.
Skippered by centre Steve Antat, Anse Boileau-based Angels won the first half 30-23 but lost the second 31-35. Franky Esther and Barry Dubignon combined for 23 points for Angels.
With three players fouling out, Dynamics had three players – Jean-Paul Desaubin (17 points), Kenneth Domingue and James Joubert (both 15) – in double figures.
Premium Cobras 72 … Cascade Bullets 45
Nigerian Alao Solomon carried the scoring load for the Cobras, who also got 11 points from big men Alex Baron and captain Dominic Pillay on the way to a 72-45 win over the Bullets.
It wasn’t as easy a victory as the score might suggest. After leading 17-12 at the end of the first quarter, the Cobras, winners of the recent Angel Fish-sponsored Curtain-raiser tournament, trailed 24-22 early in the second before stepping on the accelerator to distance themselves from any kind of threat posed by the Bullets.
With the much-travelled centre Biko Biong back in their line-up after last playing for Premium Cobras, the Bullets got 20 points, 12 of those coming from behind the arc, from Dan Côme.
PLS Hawks 87 … Beau Vallon Heat 41
Playmaker Karim César made a rare start and he did not disappoint coach Tony Juliette with 14 points, including two 3-pointers, as PLS Hawks steamrollered Beau Vallon Heat 87-41.
As they won all four quarters, 11-8, 30-7, 24-14 and 22-12, the Hawks saw centre Barry Baron come off the bench to score four treys for 12 of his joint-game-leading 22 points, while Christopher Camille and Neddy Fanchette added 15 apiece.
Pascal Bibi matched Baron’s 22 points in a lost cause for the Heat.