Floriana surmount Hibs obstacle
Floriana MCP Car Parks 78 Hibernians 70 (25-14, 15-12, 14-24, 2420)
Floriana made the first inroad to a place in the semis, with a hard fought victory, as they finally went past determined opponents.
The Greens held good advantages till the interval, but then they had to ward off the Paolites, who even managed to tie the score at one time.
Both sides netted a good number of triples, to aid their cause, with Floriana edging out their adversaries at the end.
The only absentee in the Floriana side was the Serbian, Vukasin Jandric Hibs included Michael Hampton, and had three foreigners, two of them as local ones.
Floriana shot forward to a good start, with an 8-0 lead. The Paolites had Simon Attard with his trey, but Chad Patus also netted a triple and a hoop.
The Greens held on to their sound lead, as Patus, Clayton Calleja and Nikola Vasovic added more triples. Alvaro Lizaur replied for the Paolites, who were still at a distance.
In the second period Floriana continued to hold off their opponents for some time, but then the treys were coming in fast.
Patus, Vasovic and Shawn Pace made theirs for Floriana and Stefan vella grabbed a couple for Hibs. At the interval Floriana had a heavy 40-26 advantage.
After the break Hibs made their move, after a quick Calleja hoop. A strong 13-0 run, with a Luke Farrugia trey, had much closer.
The Greens responded with an 8-3 run, as Vasovic sank another triple, with Lizaur doing the same for the Paolites.
Hibs went on level terms with their 8-0 run, and another Vella trey, but till the end of the session Floriana had forged ahead once more, with a brace of hoops, for a 54-50 advantage.
In the last quarter points were aplenty. A 9-2 run saw the Greens extending their lead, with a further Patus triple.
Hibs were back with another 80 run, and Lizaur and Kieron Caruana treys. Floriana reacted with a 7-0 run, and another Patus long one, only to be stopped with a second Attard triple for Hibs.
Caruana's points in a late surge couldn't stop Hibs' defeat, as the Greensmade enough points of their own, with Sean Borg's free throws sealing the Floriana victory.
Floriana: C. Patus 24, S. Pace 6, S. Borg 11, A. Portelli, N. Vasovic 20, C. Calleja 12, A. Axiaq 5, N. Andreejevic
Hibs: M. Matijevic 4, M. Hampton, L. Farrugia 3, S. Attard 6, I. Bonett, K. Caruana 17, R. Carabott, P. Attard, S. Vella 13, F. Mariani 3, A. Lizaur 24
Referees: E. Mangani, S. Micallef, T. Helenius