Basketball - Seychelles beat Maldives in consolation match | 25 July 2019
The Seychelles men’s basketball selection yesterday registered their first win at the ongoing 10th Indian Ocean Islands Games, inflicting a heavy 90-55 defeat on Maldives at the Phoenix Gymnasium.
Despite the good performance, the victory was just to save the image of Seychelles’ basketball, since the selection are already out of the competition following two defeats in their first two matches.
In their first group match, Seychelles suffered a 56-79 defeat at the hands of Madagascar, while in their second match, the boys of coach Dominic Pillay stretched the Reunion selection before narrowly losing 62-64 from a buzzer-beater shot by Mickael Var with only three seconds left to play.
A member of the gold medal winning team in 2011 on home soil, coach Pillay had barely three months to put a side together for the Games and despite picking up late in the competition, it could be agreed that he did quite a satisfactory job, taking into account the amount of time he had.
Compared to the first match against Madagascar, the second against Reunion was a completely different story, with the team showing a huge improvement in their game, especially in defence.
Meanwhile, the women’s selection will be in action today in their semifinal match against Madagascar.
Seychelles were drawn alongside Reunion and Mayotte.
In their inaugural match, the players of coach Michel Malbrook were humiliated by Reunion with a severe 20-73 defeat, while in their second match against Mayotte, Seychelles bounced back from the thrashing to win 54-41 and book a place in the semifinal.
A win against Madagascar for a place in the final is next to impossible for Seychelles and in a previous interview, assistant coach Tony Juliette noted that their main target is the bronze medal.
The third-place match will be played on Saturday.
Text and photo Roland Duval in Mauritius