Luxol open league campaign with a win
Basketball - BOV National League - Men 1 Div
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