The Malta Independent 21 January 2018, Sunday

Basketball: Louis Borg Cup – Luxol’s win not enough, as Starlites pass through to final

Monday, 18 December 2017, 15:07 Last update: about 2 months ago

Willie Vassallo

 

Caffe Moak Luxol            61

Starlites GIG      59    

(14-18, 11-11, 20-17, 16-13)

Agg. 118-122

Starlites had a six point advantage from the first match and they held off the champions' advances to claim a place in the final.

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They were in front from late in the opening session and only lost this lead briefly in the last quarter but recovered enough to keep their opponents at bay. Luxol are still without a proper foreigner as they recovered Christine Curmi from her shoulder injury and Monique Caruana was fielded for the first time this season. Paula Ellul was playing her last game for them as she is going for a one year stay in Australia.

Luxol didn't take much time to start wiping off their deficit but Starlites then managed to come up with a 10-2 run as Jean Doughty and Stephanie Davis netted triples. Curmi's hoops were not enough for Luxol as Starlites held on to their lead.

In the next period Patricia Arguello and Kirsty Galea points helped Starlites to increase their advantage further but the champions managed to get over a lean phase and ended the session on a long 7-2 run to shorten their deficit. At the interval Starlites were leading 29-25.

After the break, Luxol were in earnest to get closer but Arguello nailed a Starlites triple. Cristina Sollami went on court for Luxol and proceeded to put in her points. Luxol were just behind their adversaries but never managed to overturn the score as Starlites led 46-45 going into the last session.

Luxol tied the score but Arguello sank another Starlites trey. Luxol twice managed to go in front but a couple of Starlites hoops gave them breathing space. A last gasp Luxol effort had them slipping ahead once more after two Ina Baena Medina triples but time ran out on them and Starlites had the final in their grasp on aggregate.

Luxol: S. Pace 10, C. Borg Millo, M. Caruana,  I. Baena Medina 17, N. Vella 3, K. Portelli 2, P. Ellul 4, C. Sollami 13, M. Darmanin 4, C. Curmi 8  

Starlites: D. Agius, K. Galea 7, J. Doughty 5, S. Farrugia 6, H. Acreman 6, D. Revol 2, E. Magrin, P. Arguello 24, M. Cutajar, S. Davis 5, A. Lupo 4 

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

 

 

No hassle, as Hibs progress to the final

 

Hibernians         56

Gzira Athleta     53         

(19-7, 19-10, 5-11, 13-25)

Agg. 122-106

The Paolites went into this encounter with a solid points advantage and they slapped away Athleta's first efforts to put the issue beyond reach till the interval.

Athleta managed to make a game of it but their first game deficit was a big hindrance and the Paolites could afford to relax and still enjoy enough of a lead to have no worries about their appearance in the final. Silvia Gambino for Hibs and Amelia Simmons for Athleta stood out in this encounter.

Hibs wasted no time to push their opponents further behind on aggregate as they built up a solid 17-2 advantage with Elena Cassar and Gambino twice nailing their triples. Athleta had Denise Said Hollier netting a very late trey.

In the second session, Hibs began with another 8-0 run and another Gambino trey. Sophie Abela followed up with her triple and the paolites were way out in front. It was all Simmons for Athleta in this period but Gambino was still piling in the points for Hibs. At the interval Hibs had arrived at a healthy 38-17 advantage.

After the break Athleta were coming more into the picture as the Paolites faded away. they could only manage five points but Athleta didn't take full advantage. Julia Schembri netted a trey for them and Antoinette Borg netted late points but the Paolites were still 48-31 in front.

Schembri sank another Athleta trey with Gambino replying likewise at the other end. Athleta then came back strongly as Simmons kept on with her points and Borg and Elena Pace netted triples in a heavy 20-1 run as Athleta finally overturned the score.  Hibs recovered enough to regain their lead and Kirsty Caruana and Sam Brincat points ensured their victory for a better aggregate win.

Hibs: E. Micallef 2, E. Cassar 8, S. Gambino 24, S. Brincat 5, I. Agius, J. Abela, S. Abela 10, K. Caruana 4, N. Farrugia, R. Kehoe 3, K. Calleja, J. Scerri

Athleta:  N. Borg, B. Zammit, L. Duncan 2, A. Simmons 30, D. Said Hollier 5, A. Borg 7, J. Schembri 6, S. Vella, E. Pace 3,  C. Mifsud

Referees: N. Azzopardi, S. Micallef, K, Dworniczak


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