Although some of the players looked rusty and others were slow as they have put on weight during a two-month lay-off, they gave the spectators an insight into what to expect this season.
In the day’s first match, 2009 Men’s Division Two champions Razors, who will play in the top flight this season, used a big third-quarter performance during which they outscored RA Herons 26-4 to collect a 45-41 victory.
Liston Reginald finished with 11 points, including two 3-pointers, and Alex Baron added 10 in Razors’ win, putting them in the right frame of mind as they will be playing top-flight basketball again after making the drop two years ago.
Kenny Moustache (14) and Ryan Volcère (10) combined for 24 points for RA Herons, who will also be involved in the big league after eliminating Beau Vallon Heat in the playoffs.
Malbrook leads Stars
Veteran skipper Simone Malbrook had the hot hands with a game-leading 31 points to lead Anse Etoile Stars to a convincing 78-45 victory over defending women’s league and cup winners HotShots, who were missing player of the year Myra Solin and centre Tina Agathine through suspension.
Forward Lucia Souffe was the second highest scorer with 10 points for the Stars, who were in total control, winning the first three quarters 22-10, 25-16 and 21-9 before being held 10-10 in the fourth.
Playing with a short line-up, HotShots relied a lot on outside shooting, netting five treys –captain Jenita Toussaint and Beguitta Fontaine getting two apiece – while Marlène Toussaint got the other.
Domingue matches Léon in Baya’s win
Baya centre Robert Léon and PLS Hawks’ veteran power forward Jim Domingue battled for position in the paint in both offensive and defensive plays, and they finished with a joint-game-high 21 points, but it was coach Michel Malbrook’s Baya who had the last laugh on an 82-70 score.
PLS Hawks were without player of the year Rodney Lozé, centre Neddy ‘Oye’ Fanchette, shooting guard Bernard Bristol and playmaker Thomas Collie, but Jefferson Nganga came off the bench to contribute 11 points and show that he can still play the game at the highest level despite being away for quite a long time.
Marcus Marimba made a 14-point contribution for the Hawks, who will next play Baya in the first round of the curtain-raiser tournament on March 6 at the Palais des Sports.
Baya skipper and playmaker Giovanni Laval got 18 points, among those one trey, and Jean-Paul ‘JP’ Camille buried three shots from downtown for nine of his 13 points.
Meanwhile, Seychelles Basketball Federation chairman Roy Collie is calling on potential sponsors to come forward to support the competitions on this year’s calendar.