Gzira Athleta canter to their second honour of the season
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
Peter Shoults of Gzira Athleta (right) takes on Jacob Formosa of Starlites Virtus (left)