20 October 2009

SEYCHELLES : SBF Cup finals – games one - HotShots, Baya take the initiative

HOTSHOTS and Baya are a game away from sweeping the Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup best-of-three final series after taking game one on Sunday at the Palais des Sports.

While HotShots steamrollered Mont Fleuri 72-51, Baya rose from their deathbed to earn an 80-76 victory over Premium Cobras.

HotShots, who lost Beguitta Fontaine with an ankle injury in the second minute, never trailed in a match they dominated from start to finish, winning all four quarters – 18-11, 13-9, 22-14 and 19-17 – for a 21-point margin victory that has put them in the right frame of mind for tomorrow’s game two.

HotShots’ international power forward Myra Solin led all scores with 30 individual points, captain and centre Tina Agathine added 24, while young playmaker Zerah Fontaine finished with 11, including two 3-pointers.

After the match, skipper Agathine told Sports Nation that her team will finish off Mont Fleuri tomorrow.
“We are determined to come and play hard to get a second win on Wednesday. We will do it,” she said.

With captain and centre Lindy Aglaé and veteran Tracey Hétimier getting into foul trouble early in the first quarter – while evergreen Williana Dubois did not play her best coming off the bench – it was left to another veteran, Patricia Samynadin, to carry Mont Fleuri’s scoring load with 16 points.
Coach Tony Juliette still has hope for his team and said: “We will bounce back in game two.”

Baya rise from deathbed

Cobras were not happy with some of the decisions taken by the trio of referees, saying they cost them the match, but in the end they have themselves to blame for the game-one defeat as they blew a 15-point lead and hurried their shots during crunch time.

Against a disorganised Baya, Cobras won the first two quarters 19-14 and 21-17 for a nine-point – 40-31 – half-time lead.
Coach Guy Hall’s team looked to be cruising to victory as their biggest lead grew to 15 points – 55-40 – on a James Beier drive with 3 minutes 33 seconds (3:33) left in the third quarter, but Baya used a 12-3 run to reduce the gap to six points – 58-52 – after 30 minutes of play.

Although Cobras pulled away at 63-52, Baya used another good spell to tie the match at 63-63 on skipper Steve Denis’s free throws with 5:30 left on the clock, but they just could not take the lead.

Nigerian Alao Solomon went coast-to-coast with 1:30 to go to put Cobras up by six (74-68), but Dave Roseline came out of his lethargy to bury a trey to put Baya back into contention at 74-71.

After Amadou Sylla – who had slammed the basketball on a nice alley-oop pass from Solomon midway through the second quarter – saw his drive drop to bring the score to 76-71, Baya’s sharp shooter Jean-Paul ‘JP’ Camille went to work. He buried two consecutive shots from downtown and was fouled on the second by Solomon to complete a four-point play, giving Baya the lead for the first time in the match at 78-76 with 15.3 seconds left on the clock.

Back into the game following a time-out called by coach Hall, Cobras had to attack Baya to try to equalise and force extra-time. But Solomon made the wrong decision of going for a trey to win the match and Baya caught the air-ball which Roseline turned into a basket on an easy lay-up to close the game at 80-76.

It was a heart-breaking loss for Cobras, who had looked like taking victory, and coach Hall said his team will come into Thursday’s game two more prepared.
“We have no choice but to win game two to force a decider,” he said.
Hall’s counterpart Michel Malbrook is confident his team will close the series on Thursday.
“It (the series) will be over by Thursday. We will up the tempo to give a better performance than we did on Sunday,” he said.

Sunday’s finals were watched by Italian Gianluca Tucci, who is here in search of the national team coach job.

G. G.

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