05 August 2013

SEYCHELLES : National League

Hawks restore order

PLS Hawks are back in the championship hunt as they vie to retain their own crown and there is no denying that they have the situation under control as they restored some order in the standings.
The momentum never shifted in the PLS Hawks-Baya second-round league match. It stayed with the defending champions and all the conditions were right for PLS Hawks – the fans were there, the players had the right adrenaline flow and were ready to go out for a win at Victoria Gymnasium on Saturday. And they did it on a 71-54 score against a shorthanded Baya whose outside shooting let them down badly in a tense encounter which did not miss some of the usual drama attached to local basketball.

Present for the match, new National Sports Council chief executive Giovanna Rousseau, who must surely have enjoyed the game and all the ambiance created by the spectators, must surely be wondering what’s the next step to take to curb fighting, insulting and beer-can-throwing inside the venue.

Without big man Alex Baron, Baya, who struggled to cope with the Hawks’ big men in the paint where most of the points came, just could not afford to lose Timmy Adam with 2 minutes 51 seconds (2:51) left to play as he was disqualified for fighting with a spectator.

Unable to rediscover their shooting game which helped them to an 88-57 win over leaders Beau Vallon Heat the previous weekend, Baya trailed the Hawks by 12 points – 10-22 – at the end of the first quarter and by 2 1 – 23-44 – at half-time.

Although they managed to pulled themselves together in the third and fourth quarters which they won 16-14 and 15-13 thanks to a two-minute 11-0 run in the fourth, it was just too little as the Hawks had already sewn up the game with the huge early lead to pull level on points – 22 – with leaders Heat and with the same win-lose record of 10-2 after 12 games played.

The Heat continue to lead the championship standing by virtue of their first-round 81-76 win against defending champions Hawks, whose coach Alix Allisop has said the title run is far from over.

“Baya are out of the way, but we are still left to play Premium Cobras, Mont Fleuri Dawgz and Beau Vallon Heat. Matches are won on the court and we have to come out and play hard,” coach Allisop told Sports Nation.

The Hawks had four players – Rodney Lozé (17 points), captain-of-the-day Alao Solomon (15 points), Jefferson Nganga (12 points, including two 3-pointers) and Neddy Fanchette (11 points) – scoring in double digits, while captain Dave Roseline had the hot hands for Baya with 17 points.

Baya’s coach Michel Malbrook was disappointed with the loss, adding that “Alex Baron let us down”.
Baya are now third in the nine-team standings with 20 points after collecting 8 wins and 4 defeats in 12 games played.
Meanwhile, Mont Fleuri Dawgz continued their revival in the second round after a disastrous first round. On Saturday, the Dawgz got 13 points from Ron Estico and 12 from Steven André as they won by a 36-point margin – 72-36 – against RC Dynamics who are winless in 12 games.

The Dawgz won for the fourth time in five outings in the second round to bring their win total to seven in 13 games for 19 points.
In the women’s league, Mont Fleuri were paced by Lindy Morel, formerly Aglaé, with 17 points while Agnes Bristol chipped in with 12 and the trio of Katherina Morel, Bernadette Songor and Williana Dubois added 9 apiece in a 69-49 win against Juniors.

Coached by former Seychelles centre Lenny ‘Bad’ Aglaé, Juniors, who only had eight players against their more-experienced Mont Fleuri, Juniors got 11 points from Laura Françoise, and 10 from both captain Sarah Rose and Solange François.

With the win – their fourth in five games – the Mont Fleurians have shot to second on the four-team table with nine points – the same total as third placed HotShots who have played a match more.
Unbeaten in five games in the three-round league, defending champions Anse Etoile Stars lead the standings with a maximum 10 points.

G. G.

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