Athleta now on two wins
Mellieha Tritones 49 Gzira Athleta 62 (8-6, 14-17, 12-20, 15-19)
It was Mellieha’s first league match but they had to bow to Athleta for the second time this season after having been beaten in the Shield final.
Athleta made back to back league wins after their initial victory over Starlites. The two sides were locked till halfway through the third session of play but then Athleta broke forward leaving their adversaries behind. Mellieha were never in the hunt after that with Athleta registering a very comfortable victory.
Mellieha included a new foreigner a fellow Latvian to Rihards Polis. Janis Vibe is not exactly a new face as he had played for Depiro some time back but he is playing once more.
Clint Grixti was playing his first match of the season and Ian Curmi was on the team list but ended up guiding the side in the absence of coach Don Ross. The absentees were Emanuel Lupo having been married just last week and John Muscat. Athleta also had another foreigner the Italian Nicolo' Petrucci.
There was a slow start to the game with Athleta twice going in front but then Mellieha also managed two leads till the end of the session with Robert Loporto their main man.
In the next period Mellieha enhanced their advantage as Polis netted a triple but Kwame Thompson began to pick up his points for Athleta as his side made up a 10-0 run with a trey from the American.
Mellieha went on level terms as Ian Terrible sank a triple but till the interval Mike Giusti points had Athleta on a slim advantage even if Loporto netted a Mellieha trey. Halftime score at 23-22.
After the break, Mellieha were back as they twice went in front but Athleta began to show their worth. They began with a 9-0 run from Francesco Mifsud Bonnici and Thompson to storm ahead. Mellieha went a hoop behind as Terribile sank his second trey. A 70 run till the end of the session with another Thompson triple had Athleta drifting away to a 43-34 advantage.
Two more hoops in the last period extended Athleta’s lead. Mellieha reacted with Vibe points to creep closer but another 7-0 run with a Giusti triple opened up Athleta's advantage.
Mellieha netted a couple of hoops but Athleta came up with yet another 7-0 personal Thompson run and Mellieha were definitely out of the reckoning. They did reduce their deficit but the end of the match saw them still at a distance.
Mellieha: R. Polis 10, M. Farrugia 6, R. Loporto 15, J. Vibe 6, I. Terribile 7, B. Aquilina, D. Miani 3, C. Grixti, B. Sole 2
Athleta: J. Symmons 2, F. Mifsud Bonnici 9, J. Wait 2, J. Aquilina 2, L. Stefanovic 2, M. Gauci Montaldo, M. Giusti 11, K. Thompson 32, K. Schembri, S. Vincic, M. Cilia 2, N. Petrucci Referees: Z. Dobrosavljevic, I. Marjanovic