SEYCHELLES : Cobras and Stars shoot to the top

PREMIUM COBRAS played a tough and suffocating defence against bottom team Beau Vallon Heat to stay in a rich vein of results with their seventh win in the second round of the men’s division one championship.

On a cold and windy Sunday afternoon at Victoria Gymnasium, the Cobras warmed themselves up for an important encounter this coming Sunday against defending champions Baya, thanks to a 117-66 win over the Heat, who enjoyed some good spells in the match despite the loss.

Coach Lenny ‘Bad’ Aglaé insisted on defence to win more possession, which they turned into baskets, outscoring their opponents 23-16, 34-10, 29-18 and 31-22 in all four quarters.

Cobras’ Nigerian import Solomon finished with a game-leading 35 pointsNigerian Alao Solomon finished with a game-leading 35 points and was helped in offence by Seychelles power forward and captain Dominic Pillay with 23, Amadou Sylla with 22 and Nigerian Simon Pusam with 12.

Heat’s Tony ‘General’ Barbé and Pascal Bibi scored 24 and 19 apiece for 43 of their team’s total.

With their 13th win in 16 games, former champs Cobras have shot to the top of the 10-team league standings with 29 points – one more than unbeaten Baya, who have two games in hand.

Although coach Valli Ismaël kept barking instructions from the sidelines, the Heat fell to their 13th defeat in 15 games and are just two points ahead of tailenders Praslin Warriors.

In the day’s other men’s top flight match, Angels started strongly against MBU Rockers, keeping them in check early on to trail by two – 12-14 – at the end of the first quarter, but they let down their guard in the second to be outscored 24-16.

Boasting a 10-point lead, the Rockers played a cat-and-mouse game with their opponents, who tried to upset them, winning the second period of 20 minutes 39-38, which proved enough for a 77-66 victory.

Swingman Cyril Agrippine scored a team-leading 22 points, while young centre Keven Morel added 14 and captain Nigel Sinon scored 12 in the Rockers’ victory number 11 in 15 games for 26 points.

Despite getting a game-high 25 points, Steven Servina – who also top-scored for Angels with 39 points in their previous weekend’s 95-93 away victory over Praslin Warriors – could not stop the Anse Boileau-based team from losing for the seventh time in 14 matches.

In the women’s league, Mont Fleuri are almost out of the running for the title as they could not repeat the performance that earned them a surprise 56-48 win against champions HotShots.

Playmaker Lindy Mathiot scored 17 points, including two 3-pointers, Dynah Louis added 16 and centre Simone Malbrook got 10 in Anse Etoile Stars’ 71-50 victory against coach Tony Juliette’s Mont Fleuri.

Mathiot (dribbling) scored 17 points in Stars’ win over Mont Fleuri

Coached by Michel Malbrook, the Stars boast 13 points after six wins in seven matches, while the Mont Fleurians have an equal win-lose record of 3-3 in six games for nine points.

With Mialy Rakotoarison scoring a game-high 18 points and veteran Lina Lestrange adding 12 in a 56-30 victory against winless Juniors, RA Sisters moved equal on points – nine – with Mont Fleuri, but have played a match more.

Coach Jerry Andrew’s Juniors were paced by Doris Oreddy and Yana Malbrook with 11 points apiece. Coming from a basketball family Yana – whose mother Simone is a Seychelles international and plays for the Stars, father Michel was a former international playmaker and is now a coach, and brother Stephen plays for Baya – banked three 3-pointers for nine of her 11 points.

G. G.