Gzira Ath­leta can­ter to their sec­ond hon­our of the sea­son

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Wil­lie Vas­sallo

Gzira Ath­leta 92 Star­lites 60 (230-16, 20-14, 20-17, 2213)

Fresh from their first hon­our, the In­de­pen­dence Cup, just a few days ago, Ath­leta gar­nered their sec­ond hon­our, dis­pos­ing of a youth­ful Star­lites out­fit, vastly dif­fer­ent from the strong Vir­tus side of the last two sea­sons.

Vir­tus are now in the past, with Star­lites tak­ing their place, but de­ter­mined to give ev­ery­body a good run for their money. Ath­leta were streets ahead, as they made it thir­teen times in their Su­per Cup suc­cesses, af­ter they were halted from a six year dom­i­nance, last sea­son, by Vir­tus.

Star­lites missed their Ser­bian im­port, Ivan Mitrovic, sus­pended for this fi­nal, but in­tro­duced an­other new player from Ser­bia, Zika Stankovic, with Chris Dou­blet tak­ing Alex Cu­ta­jar's place. Ath­leta fielded the same side, as in the first fi­nal, but await fur­ther ad­di­tions, in the com­ing matches.

Ath­leta started well enough, to go ahead, but Star­lites man­aged to over­turn the score three times. Ath­leta then be­gan to im­pose their su­pe­ri­or­ity, mak­ing up a solid 17-2 run, and they kept on till the end of the ses­sion, as Josiah White­head, Michael Naudi and Peter Shoults opened up their ad­van­tage.

In the sec­ond pe­riod Ath­leta con­tin­ued to open up the gap be­tween the two sides, mainly from Naudi. Star­lites man­aged a de­cent 8-0 run, but Ath­leta forged ahead once more, with White­head tot­ting up his per­sonal score.

At the in­ter­val his side went 3016 in front, as Naudi net­ted the game's open­ing trey, with Alec Felice Pace re­ply­ing for Star­lites.

Af­ter the break Ath­leta put in a 10-0 run, with David Camil­leri and Shoults triples, but Star­lites also had Ja­cob For­mosa and Thomas Grech with their treys. Stralites fell frac­tion­ally fur­ther be­hind, with Grech mak­ing his sec­ond triple. Score at 70-47.

In the last quar­ter Ath­leta opened up with a good 12-0 run, end­ing with more Naudi points, and a Billy Zam­mit triple. Star­lites re­acted with an 11-3 run of their own, as For­mosa sank two more treys. Ath­leta closed down the game with a 7-2 run, as Zam­mit net­ted his sec­ond triple.

Af­ter the match came the pre­sen­ta­tion, with the Ath­leta skip­per, Michael Naudi, re­ceiv­ing the win­ning tro­phy from the MBA pres­i­dent, Paul Sul­tana.

Ath­leta: M. Naudi 24, R. Vella 4, D. Camil­leri 7, L. Ste­fanovic, P. Shoults 11, F. Mif­sud Bon­nici 1, B. Zam­mit 11, S. Vin­cic, M. Gauci Mon­taldo 1, J. White­head 33

Star­lites: Q. Bugeja, L. Vella, A. Schem­bri 6, C. Schem­bri 3, M. Fal­zon 4, A. Felice Pace 12, Z. Stankovic 7, J. For­mosa 16, M. Az­zopardi, C. Dou­blet, T. Grech 12 Ref­er­ees: B. Vas­sallo, G. Bar­bara, S. Mi­callef

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Peter Shoults of Gzira Ath­leta (right) takes on Ja­cob For­mosa of Star­lites Vir­tus (left)

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