Marathon finally goes Athleta’s way
Athleta obtained their second league victory as they twice saved the match going into overtime on each occasion: thus the two teams had the ordeal of two overtimes.
Athleta were without Elena Pace and Marie Pollacco. The Paolites recovered their American import Trudy Armstead who missed their last encounter and they also had two players for the first time this season as the Italian Silvio Gambino is now eligible to play and Maria Said was enticed to get back in the side to help the Hibs cause.
After an early Amelia Simmons hoop for Athleta it was the Paolites making up a 7-0 run with an Elena Cassar triple. Athleta netted a brace of hoops with Hibs doing likewise at the other end.
It was then Athleta with a Christina Grima trey and a Simmons free throw to get to within a point of their opponents.
In the second period Hibs were in control as they proceeded to make up a long 12-2 run with Armstead and Said points to open up a comfortable advantage. Late in the session Athleta reacted as they had Milica Stefanovic and Antoinette Borg putting in triples to reduce their side’s deficit. At the interval the Paolites had a 25-18 advantage.
After the break, Athleta started to get nearer but Iona Agius netted a Hibs triple. Athleta finally tied the score with Simmons and Grima points but the Paolites were soon back in front.
A 7-0 run with Grima hoops and a second Borg trey overturned the score and it was Athleta ahead at 42-40 going into the last session.
Hibs tied the score twice even though Grima sank a second Athleta trey who then made up a three basket spread for another advantage. Hibs came up with a solid 100 run with Gambino points and a triple. They were ahead late in the match but Athleta took the match into overtime with a Simmons hoop and a 57-57 score.
Athleta’s first hoop and a lead was overturned with a couple of Hibs baskets but Grima’s free throws again tied the score and the match went into a second overtime at 6161.
This time Athleta were fresher as Leanne Sciberras and Simmons gave their side a double hoop advantage. Cassar replied for the Paolites but that was as far as they got with Simmons’ free throws closing down the match eventually
Athleta: M. Stefanovic 5, C. Grima 23, S. Pisani, L. Sciberras 6, A. Simmons 17, D. Said Hollier 4, A. Borg 9, J. Schembri, S. Vella 2, C. Mifsud Hibs: E. Cassar 15, S. Gambino 13, I. Agius 3, K. Caruana, M. Said 10, N. Vella, K. Portanier Mifsud, N. Farrugia 1, T. Armstead 13, J. Scerri 8
Referees: Z. Dobrosavljevic, I. Marjanovic
Sisters act! Steffi DeMartino of Caffe Moak Luxol (right) closely followed by her sister Tina DeMartino of Depiro (left) Photo: Domenic Aquilina