The Malta Independent 16 December 2017, Saturday

Basketball: Local selection manages a prestigious victory

Saturday, 25 November 2017, 19:40 Last update: about 20 days ago
A Malta Basketball Selection (in red) played Italian Serie A1 side Orlandina Basket to mark the inauguration of the MBA Arena at Ta' Qali. The Italian side, who are engaged in the FIBA Champions League competition, is in Malta for a 3-day training camp between Friday and Sunday at the Ta' Qali Pavillion. Photos: Jonathan Bugeja
A Malta Basketball Selection (in red) played Italian Serie A1 side Orlandina Basket to mark the inauguration of the MBA Arena at Ta' Qali. The Italian side, who are engaged in the FIBA Champions League competition, is in Malta for a 3-day training camp between Friday and Sunday at the Ta' Qali Pavillion. Photos: Jonathan Bugeja

The opening of the new Basketball Pavilion, in Ta Qali, provided the local basketball enthusiasts with some top-level play, at the end of a programme, which had various attractions.

The initiation was by the Yada Dance Group, under the mentorship of Felix Busuttil, a catchy opening. Then came the various personalities on court.

The MBA president, Paul Sultana, started the ball rolling, with his speech, extolling the broad jump made, from the primitive conditions of an airplane hangar, to the present Pavilion. He then introduced the overseas connection, Cyril Coomens, from FIBA, where he lauded Malta's efforts in the European scene, and the satisfaction FIBA felt towards one of its smallest nations.

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The last speaker was the reason for the whole programme. Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, was brief, and to the point, where he remarked on the wonderful transformation of the Pavilion, stating that it was only the first phase of the project, which will be continued, with the embellishment of other utilities.

The guests then made their way to the new entrance to the Pavilion, where the Prime Minister, together with the Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Clifton Grima, unveiled a commemorative plaque, blessed by Fr. Hilary Tagliaferro. 

Also present for the ceremony was the Opposition spokesman for Sport, and the newly elected vice president for Parliamentary Affairs, David Agius.

During the half time interval of the exhibition match, there was a spectacular display of slam dunks, by Artek Przblsky, from Poland, which drew gasps of admiration from the large crowd present.

Coming to the main attraction of the programme, the match between a Malta league selection, and the renowned Italian Serie A1 side, Betaland Capo D'0rlando, this being the international week, the top Italian side was deprived of its three Italian internationals, along with three other national players. from other countries. They still boasted a strong outfit, with a Turk, a Croatian and a Ukranian player in their fold. The local selection was boosted with American and Italian players, presently playing in the local scene.

 

Malta League Selection     67     Betaland Capo D'Orlando     58

(16-11, 16-17, 18-11, 17-19)

This being the international week, the top Italian side was deprived of its three Italian internationals, along with three other national players. from other countries. They still boasted a strong outfit, with a Turk, a Croatian and a Ukrainian player in their fold. The local selection was boosted with American and Italian players, presently playing in the local scene.

The guests took time to settle down, and the locals took the occasion to forge ahead, as Luxol's Kyle Meyer sank his triple. The Turk, Engin Atsur, also netted a trey for Orlando, but the Selection then went on to a 12-5 advantage, as Starlites' Mitchell Brewe made another trey, and Athleta's new American, Jon Feiler, stuck in a brace of hoops. Orlando reduced their deficit, but Brewe opened up the Selection's lead once more. IN the next period Matteo Lagana and Alibegovic promptly sank triples, and Orlando went ahead. The Selection came up with a 10-2 run, with more points from the American trio. Orlando had more of the play till the end of the session, as Alibegovic netted a second triple, but the Selection were still in front at the interval, on a 32-28 score.

After the break the Croatian, Marco Delas, pulled Orlando to within a point, with his brace of hoops, but the Selection answered back in style, with a 12-2 run, which had Brewe and Peter Shoults nailing treys. Lagana also sank an Orlando triple, but the Selection had opened up a solid advantage, till the end of the session, with a 50-39 score. In the last quarter Alibegovic again netted another Orlando trey, but Brewe and Feiler combined, to make up an 8-4 run, to put the Selection on a maximum lead. The Italians hit back strongly, with a 12-0 run, and more triples, two by Lagana and another from Antonio Fazio. The guests were only a triple away, but the Selection eased away once more, and a 9-1 run pushed them to a winning position, as the Italians tried to close the gap quickly, which only permitted the locals to pull away. Giorgio Galipo netted the last hoop of the encounter, with the Selection claiming victory, in an enjoyable match.

Selection: M. Naudi, A. Aquilina, N. Vasovic, P. Shoults 5, S. Pace 2, R. Vella, A. Felice Pace, M. Brewe 21, D. Scafidi 4, J. Feiler 19, F. Mariani 2, K. Meyer 14.

Orlando: G. Galipo 4, M. Alibegovic 13, E. Atsur 5, M. Lagana 12, M. Delas 8, A. Fazio 5, D. Ikovlev 9, A. Donda 2

Referees: B. Vassallo, E. Mangani, Z. Dobrosavljevic

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