14 December 2015

SEYCHELLES : Emotions run wild as Dawgz win first league title

Tears of jubilation and disbelief were shed late Saturday evening at Victoria Gymnasium where a true underdog story took place as Mont Fleuri Dawgz won their first ever league title, led by a scintillating performance from Steven André.
HotShots won the Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup by shooting down Anse Etoile Stars on a 57-39 score.

Mont Fleuri Dawgz beat PLS Hawks
André gave a brilliant display of passion, determination and energy as he played his heart out for his beloved Dawgz, leading his side to a well-deserved overtime 78-73 win over PLS Hawks in Saturday’s men’s mini-league final.
It was the Dawgz who started the better of the sides early on as they went on a 10-0 run before the Hawks could respond with their first basket of the day. The game was already being played at a very high intensity before it was delayed for a few minutes as rain started to splatter on the court despite measures taken.
At that point, the score was 10-4 in favour of the Dawgz. The game eventually resumed and the first quarter of play ended on a 19-13 score for the Dawgz.
The Hawks came out stronger early in the second period as they managed to close the gap to three points, but that was when André sparked to life, forcing a succession of turnovers which the Dawgz used to score 16 points in the quarter compared to 11 for the Hawks. The Dawgz took a 35-24 lead into the half-time break.
The third quarter continued much the same as the first two with the Dawgz doing just enough to increase their lead further as the Hawks tried desperately to find a solution for their opponents’ high energy plays.
However, the encounter was brought to a halt as one of the officials felt he was being threatened by a set of supporters and refused to continue with the game until police officers were sent to that particular area of the stands.
Once the game restarted about 10 minutes later, the Hawks continued to lag behind as their much-quicker opponents further increased their lead and at the end of the third quarter the Dawgz had a 15-point lead (56-41).
However, for the more experienced players of coach Heribert Derjacques’ PLS Hawks, things were not done yet. After captain Rodney Lozé fouled out with 8 minutes 51 seconds to play in the final quarter, it looked as though they were destined to lose.
But the Hawks slowly closed the gap as nerves got to the less-experienced Dawgz team whose veteran player Cyril Agrippine had fouled out, leaving them without the vast know-how and composure of the former national team captain.
The Hawks eventually managed to take the lead with six seconds to go, but the match had to go to overtime as the Dawgz equalised the scores at 66-66 from a free-throw with 0.6 seconds left.
In overtime, the Dawgz were the better side and could have taken an even bigger lead had they taken advantage of the numerous free-throws they got, but it was clear that nerves were getting to the youngsters of coach Nigel Ah-Kong.
The Hawks’ coach Derjacques even subbed himself in at the latter stages of the game, but his presence was not enough as the Dawgz held on to win 78-73 and complete a truly memorable run as they claimed the league title with André scoring a game-high 25 points.
“This victory is for the boys as they gave everything today and even after blowing a big lead. I think there was something ‘up there’ that was on our side,” said Dawgz assistant coach Roy Noël.
Surely man-of-the-match, a breathless André said: “It’s a big achievement for all the sacrifices that we have made and I don’t even have words to explain it. Personal achievements are not something I look forward to as these guys behind me are the reason we have won today.”

HotShots shoot down the Stars
In the women’s final, it was HotShots who took on Anse Etoile Stars in the final. The first quarter saw HotShots quickly establish themselves as the more organised of the two sides as the Stars were rushing too much and thus failing to make their attempts count.
At the end of the first quarter, HotShots had a 13-8 lead.
In the second quarter, things remained much the same with HotShots dominating the rebounds and using the ball well as they opened up the Stars’ defence to claim some easy baskets. The Stars, meanwhile, were unable to retain the ball as their players kept driving towards the basket only to lose the ball, rather than working plays to get in clear shots. At the end of the second quarter the scoreboard read 29-16 in favour of coach Phillip Arissol’s HotShots.
The third quarter was a low-scoring one, as the Stars produced some better plays but they could not close the gap significantly, leaving the score at 36-25 going into the final 10 minutes of play.
Things were already looking comfortable for HotShots and led by top scorer, Tina Agathine with 16 points, they managed to finish the job to win the encounter on a 57-39 score.
HotShots’ team manager Vic Tirant said: “The win for the team today is a reward for their devotion and hard work to get here. We dominated the game completely in my view, but we still need to work towards making more baskets count in our games.”

Basketball Hall of Fame 2015

Men’s Curtain-raiser: Winners – PLS Hawks
                                   Runners-up – Drifters
Women’s Curtain-raiser: Winners – Bel Air Challenge
                                        Runners-up – Mont Fleuri
Women’s League: Winners – Bel Air Challenge
                           Runners-up – Mont Fleuri
Men’s division one mini-league: Winners – Mont Fleuri Dawgz
                                               Runners-up – PLS Hawks
Women’s SBF Cup: Winners – Hotshots
                         Runners-up – Anse Etoile Stars
Men’s division two: Winners – Cascade Bullets
                           Runners-up – PTL Brothers
                            Best coach – Phillip Arissol (Drifters and HotShots)
                          Best official – Grégoire Scholastique
 Best male young player: Winner – Taryll Hall (Beau Vallon Heat)
                                  Runner-up – Atilla Cadence (Junior)
Best female young player: Winner – Sarah Rose (Mont Fleuri)
                                        Runner-up – Jinny Dorby (Cadettes)
Men’s national team’s Most Valuable player – Andrew Rath
Best female player: Winner – Veena Panagary (Anse Etoile Stars)
                                    Runner-up – Jana Malbrook (Bel Air Challenge)
 Best male player: Winner – Ron Estico (Mont Fleuri Dawgz)
                                Runner-up – Arnaud Arissol (Drifters)
 S. N.

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