Gzira Ath­leta ob­tain ini­tial league vic­tory

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Star­lites Naxxar 44

Gzira Ath­leta 73

(13-10, 12-22, 4-20, 15-21)

Ath­leta fol­lowed up their Shield suc­cess with their first league vic­tory of the sea­son AT the start of the league campaign.

Star­lites held out till the in­ter­val but then fell prey to the de­ter­mibed ath­leta out­fit who had their Amer­i­can Kwame thomp­son start­ing late but then fin­ished up as the game's top scorer by far.

Luca Ste­fanovic had the mis­for­tune of end­ing the match early be­ing in­jured in the lat­ter part of the match although he re­cov­ered from a heavy blow to the midriff.

Star­lites in­tro­duced the young Adam Vella Car­dona while Ath­leta re­cov­ered Welsh­man Joel Sym­mons as their sec­ond for­eigner along with Ryan Zam­mit.

It was Star­lites with the bet­ter start go­ing 7-2 in front with Quin­ton Bugeja and Luca Vella points. Ath­leta then made up a three hoop spread with a brace of Francesco Mif­sud Bon­nici hoops but Star­lites were back till the end of the pe­riod as they grabbed an­other lead were tied by Ath­leta soon after but Vella's triple had Star­lites in front.

In the sec­ond ses­sion, Ath­leta strode for­ward with a poker of hoops with two from Thomp­son. Star­lites had Chris Dou­blet with a triple as they tied the score but Ju­lian Wait’s brace of hoops had Ath­leta in front again.

Vella's sec­ond trey had Star­lites just a point be­hind with Ath­leta then fin­ish­ing off the ses­sion with an 8-2 run and two Thomp­son hoops to take a 32-25 ad­van­tage into the in­ter­val.

After the break, Ath­leta took over as they poured in a 13-0 run from Thomp­son and Ste­fan Vin­cic. Vella pulled a hoop back for Star­lites but Ath­leta got go­ing again with an­other 7-0 run mainly from Vin­cic.

Isaac Pace man­aged a cou­ple of free throws for Star­lites but they had fallen 29-52 in ar­rears.

In the last quar­ter, Alex Xuereb points for Star­lites had Ath­leta an­swer­ing back in be­tween be­fore Ath­leta struck once more with a 12-0 run to steer com­pletely clear.

With the game done and dusted, Star­lites man­aged to make some im­pact with a late 122 run and a Matthias Schem­bri triple be­fore Thomp­son closed down the en­counter with an­other brace of hoops for Ath­leta.

Star­lites: M. Az­zopardi, L. Vella 13, C. Dou­blet 3, M. Vella, I. Pace 7, M. Schem­bri 5, O. Psaila, A. Cu­ta­jar, Q. Bugeja 10, A. Vella Car­dona, A. Xuereb 6

Ath­leta: J. Sym­mons 2, F. Mif­sud Bon­nici 12, J. Wait 6, J. Aquilina 2, L. Ste­fanovic 2, M. Gauci Mon­taldo 6, M. Giusti 6, K. Thomp­son 24, R. Zam­mit, S. Vin­cic 8, M. Cilia 5, D. Buha­giar

Ref­er­ees: G. Bar­bara, S. Mi­callef

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