Luxol open league cam­paign with a win

Bas­ket­ball - BOV Na­tional League - Men 1 Div

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - SPORT -

Bupa Luxol 94 Balkan Fu­sion 72 (25-16, 21-24, 18-15, 31-7)

The two teams had avoided each other, both in the In­de­pen­de­bce Cup and the Shield, and were meet­ing for the first time.

The Vi­o­lets had the edge over their op­po­nents, till the in­ter­val, and then be­gan to draw away, and made the is­sue safe, early on in the last quar­ter, with more triples thrown in later on, for a bet­ter ad­van­tage.

They had Filip Sekulic, from Mon­tene­gro, able to play, af­ter the open­ing of the se­cond reg­is­tra­tion win­dow, and the in­clu­sion of Dirk Schem­bri of­fered more op­tions.

A wor­ri­some note for them was the in­jury suf­fered by Keith Dimech, early on in the match, as he took no fur­ther part in the en­counter.

Balkan had miss­ing faces, Nikola Mitic and Ne­nad Bukva, but fielded ex-Luxol player, Nikola Vaso­vic, on loan, and brought over, from Ser­bia, a gi­ant, Dal­i­bor Mi­cic, likened to our own Sa­muel Deguara, but not as much ag­ile. They were un­der their new men­tor, Vladimir To­movic.

The game be­gan with a Mi­cic hoop, but Luxol quickly started to rain in their triples, as Ser­bian, Vukasin jan­dric, helped him­self to a trio, and an­other, by Dimech, who, later on, had to cry off the game.

Balkan re­acted, with a 7-2 run, but Luxol were again in the fore­front, end­ing the ses­sion with a 9-2 run, and Sekulic's first trey. The se­cond pe­riod had JP Schem­bri go­ing on court, for the Vi­o­lets, sink­ing his triple, and CJ Cor­dina also put in his trey. Balkan were not idle, as they put in their points, and go­ing nearer.

Late in the ses­sion Dirk Schem­bri made a four hoop con­tri­bu­tion, but, at the other end, it was Nikola Bo­zovic, with a brace of Balkan triples, as they crept to a 40-46 score, at the in­ter­val.

Af­ter the break Luxol made up a three hoop early spread, but Balkan were still snapping at their heels, with more Bo­zovic and Nikola Vaso­vic treys, which had them very close be­hind.

Luxol im­posed their com­mand once more, de­spite an­other Vaso­vic triple, and the Vi­o­lets made up a 10-5 ses­sion end­ing run, mainly from Jan­dric, who had spent some time on the bench, ear­lier on. Score at 64-55.

The last quar­ter brought about Luxol's su­pe­ri­or­ity, as they put Balkan to the rack, with a 10-3 run, to open up a win­ning mar­gin. Balkan did re­ply, as Mi­cic added on to his tally, but Luxol's an­swer was a three trey run, two from Sekulic , and an­other from Jan­dric.

Balkan's last ef­forts had Bo­zovic show­ing his worth, with two more treys, but it was Luxol end­ing the match, on a 7-0 run, with a fur­ther Sekulic triple, to tie up the loose ends.

Luxol: CJ Cor­dina 5, V. Jan­dric 28, J. Maistre, JP Schem­bri 5, K. Dimech 7, W. Ahlberg 2, M. Mer­cieca, F. Sekulic 27, D. Schem­bri 15, S. Cap­pello 6

Balkan: N. An­dreje­vic 6, N. Bo­zovic 19, N. Vaso­vic 19, P. Walk 9, A. Schem­bri 4, J. Caru­ana, B. Mrko­je­vic, D. Mi­cic 13, N. Ko­vace­vic 2

Ref­er­ees: K. Dwor­niczak, D. Torok, M. Hraisha

Photo: Jonathan Bugeja

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