Flo­ri­ana sur­mount Hibs ob­sta­cle

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Wil­lie Vas­sallo

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

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

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