Paolites return to winning ways
Basketball - BOV Men’s Div I
Gzira Athleta 68 Hibernians 79 (19-19, 12-19, 20-23, 17-18)
The champions put last week's surprise defeat behind them, to rergister their second victory in three matches.
On the other hand Athleta could not follow up to their opening league win, against Luxol, in their last encounter, and are on a solitary win in four matches.
It was a close game till midway through teh second period, but then Hibs began to pull away, and Athleta could not get near enough to cause concern, with the champions ending the match on a comfortable margin of victory.
Hibs' opening brace of hoops were answered well by Athleta, who made up a nine point run, mainly by American, Kwame Thompson, also with a trey. The Paolites had Canadian, Chad Cuschieri Patus, to pull them back, registering a triple, but they coukd not end the session ahead, as Thompson and the other American, Vincent Pace made late hoops, to tie the score.
The second session had both sides changing advantages four times, before the champions embarked on a three hoop spread, as Serbian, Ivan Demcesen, was effective under the board. Athleta strove to get nearer, but the Paolites held out, to lead 38-31, at the interval.
After the break Hibs managed to push themselves further in front, with an opening 9-2 run, and a trey, by Spaniard. Alvaro Lizaur. . Athleta battled back, to amke up up an 8-2 run of their own, and later on, more Pace hoops had them creeping nearer, at 47-53.
The champions dampemed the danger, and took a better advan- tage, till the end of the period, with a 61-51 score. The last quarter produced treys at either end, with Pace for athelta and Cuschieri patus, for Hibs.
The Paolites gained a maximum advantage, after a Roderick Vella triple, and this assured them of the spoils. Athleta put in a three hoop spread, to put in a more realistic scoreline, with Hibs holding out in a controlled manner, and put the Depiro defeat behind them.
Athleta : M. Gauci Montaldo, P. Shoults 2, L. Stefanovic, A. Perunicic 4, N. Xuereb 4, M. Gouder 5, K. Thompson 29, V. Pace 18, I. Mitrovic, C. Shanks 6
Hibs: R. Vella 7, P. Attard, K. Sultana, L. Farrugia 2, M. Formosa, I. Bonett, L.Tardito 7, A. Axiaq 5, M. Matijevic 2, A. Lizaur 13, I. Demcesen 17, C. Cuschieri Patus 26
Referees: T. Mantere, Dworniczak, D. Torok K.
Kwame Thompson (L) of Gzira Athleta goes past Chad Patus of Hibernians. Photo: Domenic Aquilina