Athleta march on, with their third league win
Marvels Power Plus 54 Gzira Athleta 82 (12-27, 17-17, 18-16, 7-22)
Both sides had made good starts to their respective league campaigns but nit was Athleta who kept up their winning streak with a third league victory adding Marvels’ scalp to Starlites and Mellieha.
A strong start to the match boosted Athleta’s performance and though Marvels then shared the next two sessions with their opponents they still had a hill to climb.
They didn’t make it and Athleta dominated once more in the latter stages of the game to end up with a very comfortable victory.
Marvels had the Spaniard David Garcia for the first time this season and the Finn Andres Toompere was back after the opening match of the season. They also had young Daniel Massa on the bench.
Marvels led twice at teh start and then drew level after a Luca Stefanovic trey for Athleta who then made up a 7-0 run with Kwame Thompson and Stefanovic points. Christian Briffa replied for Marvels but Athleta made up a 9-2 run with more Thompson points and a second Stefanovic trey with Thompson taking Athleta’s advantage further till the end of the period.
The second session was evenly matched. It was Marvels with the triples, this time from Luke Azzopardi, and a brace from Garcia but Athleta had Francesco Mifsud Bonnici and Thompson to answer for them till the interval when Atrhleta’s advantage did not diminish. Score at 44-29.
After the break, it was Athleta with the better start putting in an 82 run with another Stefanovic trey. This time there was a good Marvels reaction with a solid 11-0 run and Azzopardi points including a couple of triples. Late in the session, Athleta rallied with treys from Stefanovic and Kwame as their side enjoyed a 60-47 advantage.
In the last quarter, Toompere and Garcia sank triples for Marvels but their efforts came to nil as Athleta took command once again making up a long 20-1 run which took them to the end of the encounter as Mifsud Bonnici and Thompson kept making up more points.
Marvels: L. Azzopardi 12, D. Massa, D. Pisani 5, R. Curmi, D. Debattista 2, C. Camenzuli, D. Garcia 11, C. Briffa 15, J. Ransley 3, A. Toompere 6
Athleta: J. Symmons, F. Mifsud Bonnici 15, J. Wait 2, J. Aquilina 1, L. Stefanovic 19, M. Gauci Montaldo 1, M. Giusti, K. Thompson 43, N. Petrucci, M. Cilia 1, D. Buhagiar
Referees: T. Helenius, I. Marjanovic