AS Aorai snatched a come-from-behind victory over New Caledonia champion Vallee-du-tir 64-60 in the Pacific Champions Cup 2005. This is the third Cup in a row for Aorai, the team will now play in the next round of the French Cup.
With a shortened preparation and after playing only two games in the Tahiti league, AS Aorai had a lot of troubles in the first half. Only a dunk made by Heimana Teamotuaitau made the audience happy during this period, Aorai reached the half-time break on a 15-28 score. It seems that Pierre Villant has found the magical words in the locker-room but his players came back on the court on a very different mood.
They hit five three-pointers in a row (two by Heimana Gibson and three by Didier Laille) to come back in the game, the caledonian players were outplayed and seemed to lose their self-control during this run. Another three-point shot by Bonnet gave Aorai a 1-point lead at the end of the third period (43-42). The crowd was on their feet to cheer the local hero, the game was on fire. JSVDT wanted to start the last quarter on a better note but Aorai players made two more three-pointer to extend their lead to 7 points.
JSVDT was unable to bounce back and the Tahiti could celebrate when the final buzzer rang. Nobody saw them win this game at half-time and that makes this win even more sweeter. Heimana Gibson led a well-balanced team with 14pts, Novick Teinaro and Didier Laille both scored 12pts and Honoura Bonnet added 11pts.
"We are coming from hell it's true" said coach Villant " We made an awful start in this game but I knew we could do something in this game. We just had to play our game to score some points. The third quarter was a great moment for us and we managed to control the end of the game. I feared this game because we weren't well prepared and we had played only two games but my guys really play at their best on the defensive end and that's why we're winning".
AS Aorai will now wait for the draw of the next French Cup round to know their future opponent in this competition. Aorai will also look to win another Tahiti League title to play in the 2006 Pacific Cup against the same JS Vallee-du-tir squad.
AS Aorai - JS Vallee-du-tir: 64-60 (15-28)
Heimana Gibson 14pts
Novick Teniaro 12pts
Didier Laille 12pts
Honoura Bonnet 11pts
Heimana Teamotuaitau 5pts
Bèo Tetuaiteroi 4pts
F. Teriitemataua 3pts
Julien Beraud-Sudreau 3pts
Marere Coquil 0pts
Jimmy Temorere 0pts
Coach: Pierre Villant
Raymond Weber (195-F-89) 12pts
Fabrice Chaliot (198-F/C-76) 11pts
G. Gutte 9pts
Stephane Saminadin (175-G-86) 5pts
Gerard Girier-Dufournier (184-G-79) 5pts
Yann Kameo 5pts
Jean-Christophe Chaliot 4pts
L. Lemo 0pts
B. Anderson 0pts
Coach: Eric Saminadin.