De­pleted Luxol still good enough against Star­lites

Malta Independent - - SPORT | CLASSIFIEDS -

Bupa Luxol 89 Star­lites Naxxar 68 (25-21, 17-19, 26-15, 21-13)

For the sec­ond time in a row Luxol pa­raded a six man squad. They lost to ath­leta a week be­fore, but this time they had the bet­ter of Star­lites in an en­ter­tain­ing match, which had no less than twenty triples fly­ing in. Luxol played to their lim­i­ta­tions ad­mirably, and man­aged to evade get­ting into se­ri­ous foul trou­ble. As a re­sult there were a num­ber of play­ers, from both sides with a good tally of per­sonal points.

Luxol were bereft of play­ers, such as CJ Cor­dina, Marco Mer­cieca, James Wil­loughby and Dean Meli, and the in­ex­pe­ri­enced Jamie Maistre Melillo had per­force to en­ter the court, when fouls piled up against Ste­fan Cap­pello and JP Schem­bri. Star­liyes made just the one change, with Isaac Pace play­ing vice Luca Vella, but they also had Ste­fan Vella miss­ing.

Luxol started off brightly, with an 8-2 lead, be­fore Ivan Mitro­vic net­ted his first trey for Star­lites, with Keith Dimech do­ing the same for Luxol. Sa­tr­lites free shots had them very near, but JP Schem­bri and Wil­liam Ahlberg sank their Luxol triples. More Star­lites free throws fol­lowed, but the same Schem­bri and Ahlberg again made their treys, but in be­tween Mitro­vic nailed an­other for Star­lites, who ven­tured near once more. In the next ses­sion Ahlberg put in an­other trey, with Star­lites mak­ing up a 9-2 run, with an­other Mitro­vic triple, to tie the score. Then it was Schem­bri and Pierce Cump­stone with treys for the vi­o­lets, as they re­gained their ad­van­tage, which they held till the in­ter­val, de­spite Star­lites' close con­tact with them. Luxol were lead­ing 42-40.

Af­ter the break Luxol en­hanced their ad­van­tage, and the triples be­gan to fly in once again, with Ja­cob For­mosa, Mitro­vic and Nikola Stankovic for Star­lites, and luxol re­act­ing each time, through Ahlberg, twice, and Cump­stone. Luxol then went to a bet­ter 69-55 score, af­ter an 11-0 run. In the last quar­ter Luxol im­proved their lead, with Star­lites hav­ing Mitro­vic and For­mosa mak­ing fur­ther triples, in a 9-2 run. Sens­ing a Star­lites re­vival, Luxol pushed for­ward, to make sure of the re­sult, with a ses­sion end­ing 15-2 run, as Ahlberg and Cump­stone led the charge.

Luxol: J. Maistre Melillo, JP Schem­bri 12, K. Dimech 11, W. Ahlberg 30, P. Cump­stone 26, S. Cap­pello 10

Star­lites: I. Mitro­vic 26, M. Az­zopardi, I. Pace, A. Schem­bri, C. Schem­bri, M. Fal­zon 6, A. Felice Pace 2, Z. Stankovic, J. For­mosa 15, N. Stankovic 19, T. Grech

Ref­er­ees: G. Bar­bara, S. Mi­callef, Z. Do­brosavl­je­vic

Depiro chase lost cause, and win

Cyn­ergi Depiro 83 Hiber­ni­ans 79 af­ter over­time (16-19, 14-18, 21-18, 21-17) (11-7)

It was an in­cred­i­ble feat by Depiro, who had de­feat star­ing them in the face, in the very last stages of the match, but they never gave in, and they man­aged to stop the shot clock, as the Pao­lites failed their free throws con­tin­u­ously, with Al­varo Lizaur be­ing the main cul­prit. But it must be said that Lizaur was a tower of strength through­out the match, notch­ing up an im­pres­sive tally of per­sonal points. To make mat­ters worse for Hibs, they had the game in the bag, lead­ing by four points, but with a cou­ple of sec­onds re­main­ing Depiro's David Bugeja was fool­ishly fouled in a three point at­tempt, which he sank. He then made the re­sult­ing free shot, to take the match into over­time, and the Pao­lites had to start all over again, but which they failed to fin­ish, as it was Depiro with the vic­tory, their first league win.

Depiro made the first in­roads in the game, to go in front, and An­drew Aquilina also net­ted a trey. Hibs re­acted well, to make up a good 13-0 run, which took them in front, even though Do­minic Scafidi put in a brace of Depiro hoops at the end of the ses­sion. In the sec­ond pe­riod Hibs forged in front, with Lizaur net­ting a trey. Kurt Xuereb also sank a triple, for depiro, who were now trail­ing their op­po­nents. The Pao­lites made up an­other 9-0 run, with a Luke Far­ru­gia trey, to steer clear, but Depiro had Robert Bon­nici com­ing up with two late treys, to cut down on their deficit, but they were still 30-37 be­hind, at the in­ter­val.

Af­ter the break Hibs held on to their ad­van­tage, with Depiro chas­ing them all the way, as Aquilina made a sec­ond triple. More treys, by Bugeja and Xuereb had Depiro just a point in ar­rears, but free shots had the Pao­lites 55-51 in front.

Hibs man­aged to open up their ad­van­tage, mainly through Marco Mati­je­vic, with Depiro com­ing up with a 9-2 run, to go quite near, at 64-67. Lizaur points in­creased Hibs' lead, and they seemed safe, un­til Bugeja took mat­ters in his own hands, and he achieved Depiro's ob­jec­tive of sav­ing the match, which went into over­time.

Depiro were gal­vanised, as they had Aquilina twice nail­ing triples, and Bugeja free throws, to make up an ad­van­tage.

Late in the ses­sion Si­mon At­tard sank a Hibs triple, but it was too late to save the match, with Ti­mothy Zam­mit net­ting the free shot for Depiro, which def­i­nitely sealed the game.

Depiro: N. Grech, D. Bugeja 21, R. Bon­nici 11, D. Schem­bri, A. Aquilina 12, S. Zam­mit, T. Zam­mit 1, M. Mal­lia, DJ Ma­son 23, K. Xuereb 10, M. Borg, D. Scafidi 5

Hibs: P. At­tard, M. Hamp­ton, A. Mi­callef 9, L. Far­ru­gia 3, S. At­tard 4, I. Bonett, K. Sul­tana, R. Carabott 2, M. Mati­je­vic 23, F. Mar­i­ani 2, A. Lizaur 36 Ref­er­ees: B. Vas­sallo, G. Bar­bara,

E. Ozpo­lat

Alec Felice Pace of Star­lites Naxxar (num­ber 10 in blue) reaches first against BUPA Luxol. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

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