10 June 2014

SEYCHELLES : National leagues - Hawks, Baya prevail in very tight games

*Bullets struggle past Wolf

Unbeaten Baya have extended their winning streak to seven games ahead of their meeting with defending champions PLS Hawks who edged Premium Cobras on Sunday.

Baya 65 … RC Dynamics 61

If Baya had come into the game on Sunday against RC Dynamics expecting it to be a formality, they were mistaken. Both teams started the first quarter strongly and the score remained close, but Baya led 16-12.
The second quarter was played on the same tempo as the first and Timmy Adam performed a one-handed dunk which delighted the Baya supporters. Baya were able to pull a little further away from Dynamics and the score at halftime was 33-22.
In the third quarter, the scoring was again very close but when RC Dynamics lost captain Duncan Albert with five fouls, Baya took control and led 52-40 with 30 minutes played.
In the fourth and final quarter, Baya loosened their grip on the match allowing Dynamics, who lost two more players – Karim César and Mamadou Diallo – with five individual fouls, to close the gap but they fell short as they lost 61-65
This was Baya’s seventh consecutive win to lead the table with a maximum 14 points ahead of this coming Sunday’s fixtures with defending champions PLS Hawks (June 15) before taking on MBU Rockers in their last first-round match on Saturday June 21.
RC Dynamics’ Ronny Julius was the game’s top scorer with 19 points.

PLS Hawks 66 ... Premium Cobras 64

One of the weekend’s highly anticipated match-ups was the encounter between PLS Hawks and Premium Cobras. The supporters were expecting a high intensity game, possibly packed with controversy and this is exactly what they were treated to.
The Hawks had welcomed back Wellington ‘Tontonn’ Adeline who had been away for a while, while France-based professional Abdel Sylla had brought his support for his brother Amadou Sylla and the Cobras.
In the first quarter both teams started strongly and the game was played at a high tempo. The Hawks had a four-point lead –15-11 – at the end of the first 10 minutes of play.
In the second quarter, Hawks’ coach Clifford Joubert sent Adeline into the fray and he looked a little bit rusty, but it was to be expected after such a long time away from the sport. The Cobras upped their game and they started to frustrate the Hawks players. The score was tied at 26-26 at half-time.
In the third 10-minute spell, the two teams kept exchanging baskets and they both did not want to give in as the scoreboard read 45-45 at the end of 30 minutes.
The final quarter was decisive and the tension was high while the excitement level hit the roof. It was all or nothing and neither team were willing to hand the game over to the other.
With 44.3 seconds left in the game, the Cobras lost Malagasy playmaker Hery Rakotoniaina and even though the Hawks were ahead, they weren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.
Coach Tony Juliette called in a few strategic time-outs but the Hawks managed to barely hang in there, and the game ended on a 66-64 score in favour of the Hawks.
Immediately after the final buzzer, the Cobras’ players circled the referees because they felt that teammate Dan Côme, who had been tasked with firing the possible game-winning 3-pointer, should have been given a foul. The referees stood by their decision and it proved to be an important win for PLS Hawks.

Meanwhile, in a second division game, Cascade Bullets beat Wolf 53-51.

Wolf’s Andre Athanase was the top scorer of the game with 18 points.

K. B.

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