Holders Gzira Athleta drawn to meet Cynergi Depiro in quarterfinals
Holders Gzira Athleta were drawn to meet Cynergi Depiro in the quarterfinals of the competition. The draws for the men’s first and second division competitions were made yesterday morning at the Basketball Association headquarters at Ta’ Qali by the MBA president Paul Sultana and Peter Perotti, Bank of Valletta Chief Officer, Personal Banking at Bank of Valletta.
Div I KO
Six teams will be taking part in the first division competition, thus another quarterfinal is needed. This resulted to be a clash between Hibernians and BUPA Luxol. The two quarterfinals are to be played on 13 November. The competition will then continue on 8 January with the semifinals. In the first match, Starlites Naxxar will be facing the winners of the HiberniansBUPA Luxol clash, while Floriana MCP Car Parks will be playing against the winners of the clash between Gzira Athleta and Cynergi Depiro. The final is scheduled to be played on 29 January.
Div II KO
The only quarterfinal of the second division competition will see Marvels Power Plus meeting Gzira Athleta on 17 November. The semifinals are to be played as follows: Mellieha Tritones Mr Green-Siggiewi St Nicholas on 19 November and Starliteswinner of quarterfinal the day after. The final is scheduled to be played on 18 December. The MBA president, Paul Sultana, thanked the Bank, especially Mr Perotti, wholeheartedly, for its continued support of the game and the association throughout all these years. He said: “They have contributed towards the overall improvement of sport in general in no small measure. Without their support, I wonder what would have happened to local sport.” He added that the two competitions were this year being held earlier than usual to enhance their importance as the KO is the second most prestigious title. Sultana also revealed yesterday that as from next season, a new team could be playing in the second division. “This will consist of foreigners resident in Malta who are training at Ta’ Qali and some of whom have been noticed to have some really good talent.” Moreover, he also said that the youth academies are also making good progress under coaches Sandro Farrugia, Silvia Gambino, Kristan Baldacchino, Reuben Baldacchino and Karl Borg. “Several talented youngsters are emerging from these academies and some are already playing in the first division,” he said. Perotti said: “We have already witnessed a number of hardfought matches this season and we are confident that the level of competitiveness will continue to improve in the KO competitions. Such matches are sure to get the best of all teams because to move forward they have to show their best to secure the title.” He also appealed for more support from individual firms for the game of basketball and the association. “To continue supporting such an important game alone is difficult. I think there should be others helping out, although some are already helping the clubs individually. There needs to be a strong investment for anyone to be able to reap success,” he said.
BOV Chief Officer Peter Perotti and MBA President Paul Sultana during the draws Photo: BOV