Basketball: National League-Dawgz bite off Baya


On Sunday night at Victoria Gymnasium, the youngsters played like seasoned basketballers taking big shots and burying them en route to a 21-point – 83-62 – victory – the team’s first ever against Baya after three years of trying. The Dawgz not only beat Baya, they also snapped the Bel Air-based team’s five-game win run, leaving Premium Cobras and PLS Hawks as the only teams with a 100% score in the championship.

Meanwhile in the women’s league, champions Anse Etoile Stars brought Mont Fleuri back to earth with a 60-43 win.

Baya 62 … Mont Fleuri Dawgz 83

Reigning Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) Cup winners, coach Nigel Ah-kong’s Mont Fleuri Dawgz hustled for every ball, dominated the offensive and defensive boards to lead Baya all along for an impressive double-digit win – 83-62 (scores by quarter 14-8, 20-15, 29-24, 20-15).

With Baya committing 32 fouls, the Dawgz built their victory on the free-throw line, netting 30 shots from the stripes – just above one-third of their final total. And while captain Nigel Cafrine was his team’s only starter in double digits with 14 points, the Dawgz got big help from their players who came off the substitutes’ bench. Acquired from PLS Hawks in the off-season, Ron Estico was instrumental in the Dawgz’ win with 18 points including three 3-pointers and Sergio Ah-kong added 11 among those nine from beyond 3-point range to the delight of their very vocal fans.

Dawgz were better than Baya in every department, not only on the floor but also in the coaching wits as coach Ah-kong got his substitutions right and his players executed their transitional offence to the letter leading to some simple baskets inside an empty Baya D. The Dawgz’ bench outscored that of Baya 40-24, as did their starters 43-38.
It was surely an embarrassing loss for Baya, but no one can take away the Dawgz’ win as they literally walked over their more illustrious opponents and coach Ah-kong has described the victory as a “morale-booster”.

“This is our first ever win against Baya and we worked hard to achieve it. After my players did not play well in the loss to Premium Cobras the weekend before, I looked for help and I feel the players responded to the call today (Sunday).

“I’m happy we did it and glad we are still in the league race. But we have to continue training and playing hard,” coach Ah-kong told Sports Nation although his team remain fourth in the 10-team standings on nine points after four wins and a loss in five games played.

The Dawgz will be up against another big gun in the form of defending champions PLS Hawks this coming Sunday and it promises to be another thriller.

Despite the loss, Baya have consolidated first position with 11 points with five wins and a defeat in six games.

PLS Hawks 100 … Angels 66

Nigerian Alao Solomon went for an early shower after fouling out, but still got 24 points to lead PLS Hawks who reached the century mark against Angels in a 100-66 win, extending their unbeaten run to five games for 10 points – the same total as Premium Cobras who also have five wins in as many games but were not in action last weekend.

Neddy ‘Oye’ Fanchette and Rodney Lozé chipped in 17 and 16 as the Hawks won all four quarters 27-19, 17-12, 28-9 and 28-26 on the way to their fifth victory.

Dominique Françoise finished with 36 points including three shots from downtown for Angels who have just one win in five games for six points.

RC Dynamics 70 … Cascade Bullets 58

James Joubert had the hot hands for RC Dynamics with 18 points in a 70-58 win over Cascade Bullets. This is Dynamics’ first win five tries this season and Joubert got help in offence from Emmanuel Larue and comeback kid Davis Nancy who finished with 12 points apiece. Nancy got all his 12 points with four shots from downtown helping Dynamics bring their points tally to six with a win and four defeats.

Sandy Julienne paced the Bullets with 23 points despite losing for the fifth time in six games for seven points.

Anse Etoile Stars 60 … Mont Fleuri 43

Against Anse Etoile Stars’ Simone Malbrook and Lucia Souffe, Mont Fleuri’s Tracey Hétimier could not repeat the feat achieved against HotShotsMont Fleuri had sent a warning to Anse Etoile Stars after their 59-52 win over HotShots, but on Saturday, the Stars were too good for them.

Veteran captain Simone Malbrook finished with 11 points and Veena Panagary was the only other star in double digits with 10 points as coach Michel Malbrook’s team overwhelmed Mont Fleuri 60-43.

The Stars won the first three quarters 14-2, 15-12 and 18-13 before losing the fourth 13-16 when they had already sewn up the game.

The only unbeaten team with three wins in the women’s league, defending champions Stars have a maximum six points.

For the second consecutive game, Bernadette Songor, who scored 21 points in the 59-52 victory against HotShots, led Mont Fleuri in scoring with 18 points. They have two wins and a loss to their name for five points.

Meanwhile, in the men’s division two league, Anse Etoile  beat Razors 79-48 and leaders Beau Vallon Heat defeated Juniors 84-24.

G. G.

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