The Malta Independent 16 December 2017, Saturday

Athleta edge Paolites as Luxol obtain runaway score against Starlites

Tuesday, 28 November 2017, 22:13 Last update: about 17 days ago
Gzira Athleta                       76    

Hibernians                          70 

(26-21, 14-14, 19-14, 17-21)

This league opener was a thrilling affair, which had Athleta obtaining the first victory, also avenging their Shield defeat by Hibs, earlier on. There wasn't much to choose from, from both sides, but Athleta seem to have found a good counterbalance to Michael Naudi's play, in their new American, Jon Feiler, and Omar Said has returned to his former playing style. The only missing link was David Camilleri, absent for this encounter, with Billy Zammit returning to the bench. Hibs found a hard nut to crack, as they practically had to chase their adversaries all the way.

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Athleta started the ball rolling, with the Paolites making up an 8-2 run, and Chad Patus points, also with a trey. Athleta tied the score, but Hibs were again in frontas patus and Alvaro Lizaur pushed them ahead. the latter also netted a brace of triples, but Athleta had a ready answer, as Feiler sank a trey, and the session's last points, with  a late Said triple, had Athleta forging ahead.

In the next period Hibs reduced their arrearsm but Athleta came up with 9-2 run, for a better advantage. It was then Hibs, with a 7-2 run, and another Patus trey, but Athleta held on to their lead, as Said nailed a second trey. At the interval Atrhleta were 40-35 in front.

After the break the Paolites went nearer on more than one occassion, with Lizaur netting a further triple. An 8-0 Athleta run, with treys from Ivan Mitrovic and Nathan Xuereb, increased their lead. Hibs pushed further, but it was Xuereb again, with a trey, as Athleta finished the session on a 59-49 advantage.

In the last quarter Hibs had Roderick Vella with a trey, but Said replied likewise, at the other end. The Paolites were frantic. and Lizaur sank two more triples, but in between Peter Shoults also netted a trey, for Athleta. Patus points had Hibs three points adrift, but late free throws ensured Athleta's victory, as time ran out on the Paolites.

Athleta : M. Naudi 9, B. Zammit, N. Xuereb 6, K. Baldacchino 2, P. Shoults13, F. Mifsud Bonnici, O. Said 17, L. Stefanovic, S. Saakian,  S. Vincic, I. Mitrovic 5 , J. Feiler 24

Hibs: R. Vella 6, P. Attard, K. Sultana, L. Farrugia 2, S. Attard, I. Bonett, K. Caruana, A. Axiaq 4, M. Matijevic 6, A. Lizaur 21, F. Mariani 2, C. Patus  29

Referees:  B. Vassallo, G. Barbara, N. Azzopardi

 

Runaway score for Luxol

Starlites GIG        83    

Bupa Luxol          125

(15-33, 18-24, 26-31, 24-37)

Luxol had already beaten Starlites twice, in the Shield, and they followed up with this third win, in the league. Starlites were missing two opening players, Shawn Pace and Sean Borg, and this made Luxol's task easier, as they assaulted their opponents' basket. The Violets' duo, Nikola Vasovic and william Ahlberg, had a field day, netting no less than eighty points between them, with their American, Kyle Meyer, affording to take a back seat. The onus of the Starlites side fell on Mitchell Brewe's shoulders, and he responded well enough, but he was ploughing a lone furrow, against the Luxol defence.

Luxol went striaght for the jugular, as they began to pull away from early on in the matchAhlberg, JP Schemnri and vasovic sank their triples, and more points from each player had Starlites falling further behind. Brewe netted a trey, but his side had already conceded too many points.

In the second session Starlites fared better, but Luxol could always continue to increase their advantage. Vasovic nailed two more triples, with Meyer also sinking his, for Luxol. At the halfway mark Luxol had opened up a 57-33 advantage.

After the break the points continued to flow in freely, at either end. Luxol began by pulling still further in front, for a maximum 73-39 lead. Mirco Azzopardi netted a starlites trey, but later on it was Schembri and Ahlberg twice more, to put in their triples, for the Violets.

With a last period to go Luxol were 88-59 to the good. The century was not long in coming, from a Vasovic trey. Michael sjoberg and CJ Cordina also netted Luxol triples, as did Robert Bonnici, for Starlites, whose tally of points was also quite high. Luxol did not falter, and their winning scoreline was a hefty one indeed, as they began their league campaign on a solid note.

Starlites: I. Felice Pace 2, M. Azzopardi 5, R. Bonnici 13, A. Schembri 2,M. Falzon, A. Felice Pace4 , R. Carabott 6, O. Psaila, N. Andrejevic 10, J. Wait,  M. Brewe 39 

Luxol:  CJ Cordina 8, M. Sjoberg 3,  N. Vasovic 46,  JP Schembri 10, K. Dimech 9, W. Ahlberg 34, A. Micallef Trigona 3,  K. Meyer 7,  S. Cappello 5 

Referees:  G. Barbara, E. Mangani, J. Cole

 


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