. Hawks, Cobras neck-and-neck
A win would have put the icing on the cake for Mont Fleuri, but they took their foot off the gas pedal in the fourth quarter against HotShots, losing a golden opportunity to wrap up their first women’s championship title in a long time.
In the men’s division one league, PLS Hawks and Premium Cobras will clash heads on October 2 in the title decider, but they both are on track for success.
HotShots 76 … Mont Fleuri 59
After losing the first quarter 12-17 and with centre Lindy Aglaé in early foul trouble with four individual fouls, Mont Fleuri trailed by six – 28-34 – at half-time on Saturday at the Palais des Sports.
On a Beguitta Fontaine trip to the foul line and netting her two free throws with 2 minutes played in the third quarter, HotShots’ lead had ballooned to 14 points – 42-28 – but when Canadian Paddye Magill stopped the skid with a short jumper, Mont Fleuri used a full-court press and a 25-11 run to tie the score at 53-53 at the end of the third quarter.
When everyone, possibly including HotShots’ coach Philip Arissol, thought Mont Fleuri would stick to a full-court press at the start of the fourth and decisive quarter, they shifted to a zone defence and HotShots made them pay cash for their tactical naivety.
Coming off the bench to lead all scores, tall centre Tina Agathine netted 10 of her 30 points in the final quarter – either catching high passes inside the paint or bringing down offensive rebounds to score unmarked.
HotShots outscored Mont Fleuri 23-6 in the final 10-minute spell for a deserved 76-59 victory, putting them in the right frame of mind for their next match against Anse Etoile Stars, which could well be the title decider.
Forward Myra Solin scored 16 points and Jenita Toussaint added 12 from four treys in defending champions HotShots’ win, helping them avenge the bruising 60-66 overtime first-round loss to the Mont Fleurians, who got balanced scoring from Williana Dubois (14 points including two treys), Aglaé (13), Burtina Désir (12 including two treys) and Magill (12 including a trey).
HotShots now head the six-team standings with 17 points from eight wins and a loss, while Mont Fleuri are second on 16 points (seven wins and two losses). Third are Anse Etoile Stars with 14 points (six wins and two losses).
A win for HotShots in their last match against the Stars will see them retain the league title, and if victory goes the Stars’ way – and by at least a five-point margin – they will be in with a chance to return as champions.
HotShots and Stars must learn from last weekend’s match and be aware that there is a lesson there about bringing not just skills, but focus, consistency and perseverance, if they plan to win.
PLS Hawks 82 … Mont Fleuri Dawgz 58
The men’s division one championship will surely go down to the wire, and the battle is between defending champions PLS Hawks and former winners Premium Cobras.
After the Cobras’ venom proved to be more effective than Cascade’s bullets to get a 90-77 midweek win, PLS Hawks played a high-tempo match against Mont Fleuri Dawgz for an 82-58 win on Sunday night.
Daniel Victor came off the bench to get a game-high 16 points, including two shots from downtown, while Nigerian Alao Solomon and centre Rodney Lozé added 13 and 10 for Hawks.
Reggie Ah-kong banked three treys for nine of his team-high 15 points and Steven André added 12 for fourth-placed Dawgz, who boast 27 points after 10 wins and seven defeats in 17 games.
With two matches each left to play, Cobras and Hawks are locked on 31 points – 15 wins and one defeat apiece.
Razors 42 … MBU Rockers 92
Fifth-placed MBU Rockers employed a full-court press against Razors and got 29 points, including three 3-pointers from swingman Cyril Agrippine, 18 from captain Nigel Sinon and 12 from Brian Morel in a 50-point margin – 92-42 – victory.
Rockers are on 26 points after 10 wins and six defeats, while Razors, whose centre Alex Baron hit two treys and finished with 17 points, are in seventh position with 21 points following four wins and 12 defeats.
RC Dynamics 57 … Cascade Bullets 73
Cascade Bullets have improved a lot under former PLS Hawks coach Tony Juliette and they dominated all four quarters – 15-14, 17-13, 22-16 and 19-14 – for a 73-57 win against RC Dynamics.
Centre Biko Biong finished with 18 points and he was helped in offence by Ronny Julienne (12 points) and Dan Côme (12) as the Bullets celebrated their seventh win in 16 games for 23 points.
Mike Jean had the hot hands for RC Dynamics with 11 points, but his team suffered their 13th defeat in 17 outings and are seventh with 21 points.
Angels, who collected only their first win in seven second-round matches, beating RA Herons 122-47, are in ninth place with 20 points (four wins and 12 defeats in 16 games).
Meanwhile, Sports Nation has learned that the RA Herons team have disbanded.
One of the main reasons, according to manager Jean-Guy Alphonse, is that the players miss training because there is only one ring at the La Promenade court.
Winless in 15 games, RA Herons beat Beau Vallon Heat in last year’s playoffs to earn the right to play with the big guns this season.