Mar­vels stroll into the semi fi­nal

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Wil­lie Vas­sallo

Mar­vels, the new name for the pre­vi­ous Phoenix Frank Salt side, went into the semis hav­ing had the bet­ter of a young Star­lites out­fit pushed into a higher ech­e­lon for most of them to ac­quire the nec­es­sary ex­pe­ri­ence for the fu­ture.

Star­lites had won this divi­sion last sea­son but the nu­cleus of that side are now play­ing in the top divi­sion mak­ing way for the emerg­ing star­lets. Mar­vels will now meet Mel­lieha Tri­tones in the last four.

Mar­vels re­tained last sea­son’s squad which prom­ises to be a very com­pet­i­tive one this sea­son.

A slow start to the match had Mar­vels go­ing on to a 9-4 ad­van­tage with Clay­ton Ca­men­zuli points and with Star­lites pulling back to a hoop be­hind. Jonathan Rans­ley ex­tended mar­vels’ lead till the end of the ses­sion.

The sec­ond pe­riod had Mar­vels show­ing their sure­ri­or­ity as star­lites found it dif­fi­cult to re­act to their op­po­nents’ thrusts. A 9-0 Mar­vels run was fol­lowed with an­other 10-0 run and they opoened up their ad­van­tage fur­ther till the in­ter­val when they had gone on to a sat­is­fy­ing 36-13 ad­van­tage with Rans­ley and Chris­tian Briffa hik­ing up their points for Mar­vels.

Af­ter the break Mar­vels kept up their good work with Star­lites this time manag­ing to make up a mid­ses­sion pos­i­tive phase.

Still Mar­vels man­aged to roll fur­ther ahead till the end of the ses­sion. Mar­vels’ points were spread out with Luca Vella putting a hoop and the game’s only triple for Star­lites who had put in a 9-4 run mid­way through the pe­riod.

The last quar­ter had Mar­vels on a 58-22 ad­van­tage. Star­lites were lim­ited to a few points but Mar­vels’ dom­i­nance was not so pro­nounced but with all play­ers manag­ing to put their names on the score sheet. Mirco Az­zopardi and Quinto Bugeja ob­tained Star­lites’ last points.

Mar­vels: L. Az­zopardi 3, L. Galea 6, D. Pisani 6, R. Curmi 2, D. De­bat­tista 4, K. Ma­gri 2, C. Ca­men­zuli 6, M. For­mosa 4, C. Briffa 19, J. Rans­ley 20

Star­lites: M. Schem­bri, M. Az­zopardi 6, L. Vella 6, C. Dou­blet 4, M. Vella 2, I. Pace, A. Cu­ta­jar, Q. Bugeja 7, A. Xuereb 4

Ref­er­ees: E. Man­gani, J. Man­gani

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