The Malta Independent 24 June 2019, Monday

Basketball, Men's BOV National League: High score match goes Athleta's way

Willie Vassallo Saturday, 12 January 2019, 19:44 Last update: about 6 months ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Gzira Athleta 101 Depiro 90

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(25-22, 28-23, 17-25, 29-20)

The January transfer window provided several teams with new foreigners, and there now a-plenty of them, in the top division. We have come to the situation, where a club now fields more foreigners than locals. Athleta had the better of Depiro, in a match in which the winners led for practically the whole of the encounter, but although they enjoyed good advantages over their opponents, Depiro stuck to their task and came close, at the end of the third session. Athleta recuperated, to open up their lead once again, and finished up worthy victors, to post problems, near the top of the standings, to the other contenders, as the league remains a tight one yet. Athleta had their fourth American, Connell Crossland, on court, with his release papers in order, from Australia, giving coach, Serbian, Sasa Dimitrijevic, a broader perspective to his side. Depiro were not lacking ion foreigners, with their American trio making up the absolute majority of their points, though finishing up on the losing side.

Depiro had Omar said sinking an early trey, with American, Julio Guity, netting at the other end. The score was tied for three times, before American, Keshaun Hamilton netted a Depiro triple, followed quickly by one from Athleta's American, Vincent Pace. Athleta went ahead, and stayed there. Despite Americans Trent Steen and Hamilton points, Depiro were still behind, at 22-27. In the next period Pace delivered two more treys, as Athleta opened up their advantage. They kept up their tempo, even if American, Jack Nygaard, and Czech, Adam C homo, sank Depiro triples. More Guity and Pace points helped Athleta to a bigger lead, by Depiro recovered, till the end of the session, to go in at the interval, on a 45-55 deficit.

After the break Athleta let loose, to leave Depiro behind, only for their adversaries, to answer back, through Steen and Hamilton points. Athleta held their edge, with American, Kwame Thompson's entry on court,  but Depiro were slowly coming back in contention, and had narrowed the gap to a single hoop, at 70-72. Their hopes, in the last quarter, took a nosedive, as Athleta came storming back, with Thompson still in fine fettle. Nygaard sank a Depiro triple, but Athleta held on to their advantage. Steen points, from the free shot line, had Depiro hoping once more, but Athleta made the issue safe, late in the match, with an 8-0 run, as Pace added on to his tally.

Athleta: N. Vasovic 2, C. Crossland 8, P. Shoults, L. Stefanovic, N. Xuereb 5, M. Gouder 9, K. Thompson 18, V. Pace 32, I. Mitrovic, J. Guity 27

Depiro: T. Steen 27, K. Hamilton 26, J. Attard, D. Farrugia, A. Aquilina 4, N. Grech 2, O. Said 5, M. Borg, M. Mallia, M. Borg , J. Nygaard 21, A. Chomo 5, A. Attard

Referees: B. Vassallo, T. Mantere, Z. Dobrosavljevic

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