10 May 2011

SEYCHELLES : Baya blow big lead in heavy loss

Baya led by as many as 20 – 26-6 – in the opening five minutes, but then hit a dry spell allowing Premium Cobras to battle back to earn what turned out to be an easy 95-81 win in the men’s first division league.

Baya players and coaching staff walked off the NSC multipurpose hall court on Saturday feeling crushed and they have themselves to blame for releasing their grip on the match and letting Cobras steal the victory from them.
Both Baya and Premium Cobras entered the match as the only teams not to have lost this season and one of them had to lose their winning run. Probably no one expected Baya to finish on the losing end of this confrontation, let alone by such a big margin, as they controlled the Cobras early on.
Shooting guard Darren Lesperance was instrumental for the Cobras, giving his team the lead for good at 27-26 on his second 3-pointer with 8 minutes 52 seconds (8:52) left in the second quarter and with the third of his game-high five treys concluded a seven-minute 30-0 run that opened a 10-point lead 36-26.
Lesperance finished the match with 28 points, Amadou Sylla added 18 off the bench before fouling out, Seychelles power forward Dominic Pillay got 13 and both playmaker Christopher Camille and Nigerian centre Ugbaje Ajodoh finished with 12 apiece to stretch the Cobras’ winning streak to six.
With centre Robert Léon playing the whole 40 minutes, Dave Roseline only getting a few minutes run and Steve Denis not on the team sheet for missing training despite being present for the match, Baya twice came close to equalising at 40-39 and 46-45, but each time coach Guy Hall’s team pulled away to stay in command.
Playmaker Giovanni Laval got 21 points including four shots from downtown, Léon added 17 and Jean-Paul Camille chipped a meager 12 including one trey for Baya whose bench need to play harder if they are to stay in the title hunt.
After a victory like this, the Cobras, who also beat Baya in a near blow-out 90-73 victory to reclaim the men’s Curtain-raiser title on Sunday February 20, proved they have the talent to push defending champions PLS Hawks this season as long as they keep their composure.

Cobras and Hawks are to clash this coming Saturday and the latter will surely be looking to put an end to the former’s unbeaten run as a loss will spell trouble for them having already lost once to Mont Fleuri Dawgz this campaign.

If anything can be learned from Saturday’s top-of-the table clash, it is expect the unexpected this term.

The Hawks warmed up for Saturday’s showdown with the Cobras by steamrollering bottom Razors 119-27 on the back of 39 points from Nigerian Alao Solomon and 22 from Daniel Victor.

Coach Clifford Joubert’s team made sure the Razors did not score in double digits in all four quarters which they won 22-6, 22-9, 31-8 and 44-4 to bring their points tally to nine after four wins and a loss in five games.
Mont Fleuri Dawgz were always in control against last year’s second division champions Drifters, outscoring the Anse Boileau-based team 15-9, 20-10, 22-11 and 17-13 on the way to a 74-43 victory.
Finishing with a game-high 15 points, Nigel Cafrine led two other Dawgz – Marvin Asba and Kevin Romain – in double digits with 11 points apiece.

After getting their fourth win in six games, Mont Fleuri Dawgz are third in the standings with 10 points – one less than runners-up Baya who trail leaders Cobras one.
Playmaker Kenneth Sophie (24 points) and Biko Biong (26) teamed up for 50 of Cascade Bullets’ points in a 10-point margin 79-69 victory over RC Dynamics who were paced by Albert Duncan with 13 points including a three.
Biong and Ralf Racombo fouled out for the Bullets, but the rest of the team shored up the defence after they had built their victory with a big third quarter performance during which they outscored Dynamics 27-14.

The victory was the Bullets’ second in six games and they are seventh on eight points – the same total as MBU Rockers who were not in action and have a match in hand.

Meanwhile, in the men’s division two, Juniors extended their winning streak to four with a 61-54 top-of-the-table win over the previously unbeaten Anse Etoile who got 20 points from Faizal Naiken.
Marcus Victor had the hot hands for Juniors with 18 points off the bench.

Despite still learning the ropes, the young lads of the Cadets team proved that if coach Pascal Fostel continues to provide them with the right ammunition, they can become good players although they lost 32-110 against AAP Brothers whose win was their first in two games. Cadets have lost all their three games.

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