THE honours in the season-ending Top-of-the-table competitions went to Mont Fleuri (women), Razors (men’s division two) and PLS Hawks (men’s division one) after Saturday’s finals at the Palais des Sports.
Youth, Sports and Culture principal secretary Denis Rose and National Sports Council chief executive Alain Volcère were among the big crowd who came to see their teams wrap up the season in style with important wins.
Messrs Rose and Volcère also gave out the prizes to the winners and runners-up of the different competitions and to the best players of the year.
Mont Fleuri shock Stars
Dubois spearheads Mont Fleuri to victoryMont Fleuri were the underdogs against Anse Etoile Stars but they turned the table on their more illustrious opponents to claim their first title in more than three years.
After losing the first quarter 13-19, Mont Fleuri outscored Stars 21-6 in the second to go for the break with a 12-point advantage (34-22).
Curtain-raiser winners Stars, who eliminated league and cup double achievers HotShots in the semifinal, started the fourth quarter trailing by one – 41-42 – after a strong third-quarter performance during which they scored 19 and restricted Mont Fleuri to 8.
Captain Simone Malbrook and company just could not maintain the momentum and they paid the price for letting Mont Fleuri settle into the game once again. It was no surprise to see the Stars lose the fourth quarter 11-20 and the match 52-62.
Veteran Williana Doubois led all scores with 18 points, including two 3-pointers, and two of her Mont Fleuri teammates – Bernadette Songor and Tracey Hétimier – finished with 14 apiece.
The win has given Dubois the much-needed energy to continue playing next year.
“This is a morale-boosting win. I’ll be back again next year to help my team join the chase for more titles. We have some good players around and they deserve some encouragement,” 42-year-old Dubois told Sports Nation.
Malagasy Miantrasiory Rakotomoudiman got 11 and Lucia Souffe was the Star’s other player in double figures with 10.
In the last Top-of-the-table final in 2006, Stars scorched Mont Fleuri 85-34 to succeed the defunct Bel Air team as champions.
Razors won the battle against teams who have won promotion to the men’s division one Alex Baron (number 9) jumps to counter RA Herons’ Sebastien Laurencenext year, beating RA Herons 64-47.
Men’s bottom-division winners Razors had three players – Alex Baron (15 points), Liston Reginald (13) and Sandy Moustache (12), – scoring in double digits as they won the second and fourth quarters 17-7 and 20-12 after the first finished tied at 15-15 and losing the third 7-17.
“It has been an eventful and perfect season in terms of results for us. We look forward to play in the first division next year,” said Razors captain Serge Radegonde.
Keddy Moustache had the hot hands with 11 points for RA Herons who will also play top-flight basketball next year after beating Beau Vallon Heat in the play-offs. Ryan Underwood finished with 10.
Lozé leads Hawks to victory
He probably did not know that he had been chosen as the male basketballer of the year, but international centre Rodney Lozé was in buoyant mood to carry PLS Hawks to a 75-67 victory over Baya in the men’s division one final.
Lozé (right) and Baya’s Timmy Adam fight for a reboundLozé, 29, had a monster second-half performance, dominating the defensive and offensive boards and finishing off his team’s attacks to get 27 of his game-leading 33 points as Hawks turned a 10-point (26-36) half-time deficit into an eight-point margin win.
Ahead 18-16 after the first 10 minutes of play, Hawks lost the plot in the second quarter which they lost 8-20 to go for the breather trailing by 10 (26-36), but they imposed their game in the third and Lozé gave them the lead at 40-39 with 5 minutes 27 seconds left on the clock.
With playmaker Karim César getting playing time after coming off the bench to impress coach Tony Juliette with a number of assists and hustle play, league champions Hawks were always in control in the second half, outscoring Baya 49-31.
Carried shoulder high by this teammates and supporters to receive his player of the year trophy from Mr Rose, Lozé has dedicated the title to his late mother Flora who always cheered him on at matches.
“She was my number one fan. She always wanted to see me succeed as a basketballer. I’ve let her down so many times, but I know she’s happy with me where she is now,” Lozé told Sports Nation.
The 29-year-old centre added that after a lacklustre first half, the coach did not have to tell them what to do.
“We the players knew that we defended poorly in the first half. So we changed our approach in the second and won the match.
It’s been a good 2009 season for us, but we have to recruit some players for next year as competition is getting stiffer,” he added.
Captain Bernard Bristol finished with 11 points including two consecutive treys for the Hawks.
Seychelles and Baya playmaker Giovanni Laval made a 24-point contribution in a losing cause and small forward Dave Roseline, chosen as runner-up to player of the year Lozé, added 14.