The Malta Independent 9 December 2018, Sunday

Basketball - Louis Borg Cup - Men - S/F 2: Hibs wipe off deficit, to go into the final

Sunday, 17 December 2017, 22:46 Last update: about 13 months ago
Photos: Domenic Aquilina
Photos: Domenic Aquilina

Gzira Athleta     66     Hibernians     81           

(13-16, 20-23, 17-18, 16-24)

Agg. 144-153


Athleta had six points to rest on, from the first encounter, but it was touch and go for three sessions, as the Paolites went ahead, and Athleta had to come back into contention. Midway through the last quarter the Paolites forged further in front, and Athleta lost their way, and their deficit grew, making it impossible for them to have a last try. True, they had Jon Feiler, to obtain the biggest haul of points, in the match, but Hibs had the luxury of five players ending the game with double figure scores. It will be Hibs' third final, this season, after twice meeting Luxol, losing out in the Super Cup, but having their revenge in the Shield. Luxol were attired in the violet colour, they were known by, in previous seasons.

Athleta held slight leads, very early on, with the Paolites then making up a 10-0 run, as Roderick Vella and Luke Farrugia sank triples. Athleta reacted with a Peter Shoults trey, but Hibs held their advantage till the end of the session. In the second period Athleta went ahead, after an Ivan Mitrovic triple, but Hibs responded well, putting in a heavy 15-4 run, with Simon Attard and Vella treys. Athleta were back, after a Nathan Xuereb triple, and although Attard nailed another trey, to widen Hibs' advantage, a last second trey, again by Xuereb, drew Athleta closer, getting 33-39 behind.

After the break Athleta netted an early hoop, with Hibs answering with an 8-0 run, from Alvaro Lizaur and Marco Matijevic. Athleta netted a brace of hoops, but the Paolites were garnering more points, in another 8-3 run, as Chad Patus sank his triple. Hibs' increasing lead was cut down by Athleta, in the last stages of the session, with an 8-2 run, mainly from Feiler, but Hibs were still ahead, on a 57-50 score. In the last period Patus nailed another trey, but more Feiler points had Athleta just going ahead, on aggregate. Hibs' reaction brought the goods, as a 12-2 run, with more triples, by Lizaur, Patus and Vella, gave them more leeway. Athleta were unable to make up a significant comeback, and Hibs cantered through to yet another final.

Athleta: M. Naudi 14, B. Zammit, D. Camilleri, P. Shoults 5, F. Mifsud Bonnici, O. Said 3, L. Stefanovic, N. Xuereb 9, S. Vincic, I. Mitrovic 5, J. Feiler 30  

Hibs: R. Vella 13, P. Attard, L. Farrugia 3, S. Attard 11, I. Bonett, A. Axiaq 6, M. Matijevic 19, C. Patus 16, F. Mariani, A. Lizaur 13

Referees: B. Vassallo, G. Barbara, I. Simic


Luxol in third final, against Hibs

Starlites GIG     79     Bupa Luxol     94    

(25-30, 14-19, 21-25, 19-20)

Agg. 143-180

Luxol have now become used to defeat Starlites, this being their fifth straight victory over them. The champions, back in their renowned violet attire, had already amassed a heavy advantage, from the first match, and they gave Starlites no little space to gnaw away any points in aggregate. Luxol's players all put down their names in the scoresheet, as all of them had time on court, given the reassuring advantage they had.

 Luxol went straight in front, at 8-2, but Starlites did manage to force their way ahead, after triples by Alec Felice Pace, Mitchell Brewe and Robert Bonnici, but that was as far as they got. Luxol were back in front, with a 7-0 run, and a Keith Dimech trey. Brewe managed another triple, for Starlites, with the champions ending the period ahead. In teh next session Kyle Meyyer netted a Luxol triple, with Starlites clawing back, with a 7-2 run, to just a point in arrears. Luxol replied with another solid 14-2 run, as Nikola Vasovic made his triple. Seconds from the interval Bonnici netted his second trey for Starlites, but his side were still 39-49 behind.

After the break the points flowed more freely. Michael Sjoberg went on court, for Luxol, sinking the only trey of the session. Starlites were thereabouts for most of the time, but the champions made up a late 7-2 run, for a better 74-60 advantage. The last quarter was still balanced, with Bonnici netting his third trey for Starlites. Vasovic was scoring regularly for Luxol, as was Vrewe, at the other end. Starlites drew closer, in the last stages of the match, but it was the Violets finishing the encounter on an 11-0 run, and a JP Schembri triple, for a more emphatic victory.

Starlites: S. Pace, M. Azzopardi, R. Bonnici 15, A. Schembri 2, S. Borg, A. Felice Pace 16, R. Carabott 12, O. Psaila, N. Andrejevic, J. Wait , M. Brewe 34

Luxol: CJ Cordina 3, M. Sjoberg 3, N. Vasovic 27, JP Schembri 7, K. Dimech

Referees: E. Mangani, Z. Dobrosavljevic, I. Marjanovic

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