The Malta Independent 21 March 2019, Thursday

Basketball, Men's BOV National League: Depiro awarded walk over against four man Balkan side

Willie Vassallo Sunday, 10 March 2019, 19:41 Last update: about 10 days ago

Balkan Fusion     0     Depiro     30

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The Balkan Fusion team presented a side, composed of four players, for the start of the match. This is against the rules, and Depiro were awarded a walk over victory, which leaves them with a slim hope of making the Play Offs, if the rest of the matches, in the top division, will turn out in their favour.

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Bupa Luxol     74     Floriana MCP Car Parks     79

(18-19, 18-22, 19-20, 19-18)

The encounter was a crucial one for both sides, as a win hinged on the victors making a bold step, for a fourth place, in the semi-final Play Offs. Floriana managed this feat, shaking off Luxol's challenge, and beating them for the second time, in the league games, after suffering two early defeats, in the season. The Violets held leads in the opening period, and early on, in the second one, but then had to chase their opponents for the remainder of the match, even if they came quite close at times, also in the late stages of the game. Luxol had Dirk Schembri and Marco Mercieca back in the side, and introduced young Juan Cefai, but the latter two stayed on the bench. They had Keith Dimech missing, and he will be missed for a whole year, as he is trying his luck in Australia, in two months' time. The Greens had David Camilleri and David Agius unavailable.

American, Ian Thiesen, started Floriana off, with his trey, with JP SChembri replying in turn, for Luxol. Another Floriana lead was turned away, as Luxol made up an 8-0 run, with a brace of Serbian, Vukasin Jandric, triples. Floriana did likewise, with another 8-0 run, to regain their advantage, and teh lead changed hands four more times, till the end of the sesison, with Floriana just ahead. The second period had the Viuolets in front, for the last time, before the Greens took another lead. Treys at either end, with Kieron caruana and Thiesen, for Floriana, and two more from Jandric, for Luxol, had the game tied twice. Floriana then went ahead and stayed there. At the interval they were 41-36 in front.

After the break Swede, William Ahlberg, sank a Luxol trey, but a 9-2 Floriana run, with another Thiesen triple, extended their advantage Jandric and Ahlberg netted further Luxol treys, but they were still trailing, and the Greens made a number of free shots, to keep a hold on the match, and they were still 61-55 in front, going into the last quarter. Ahlberg put in two more Luxol treys, and the Violets twice were a hoop behind. Then it was Thiesen and David Bugeja to make Floriana triples, with American, Jerrell martin also making a Luxol trey, as his side were just a point in arrears. Here Floriana had Belgian, Gael Hulsen, to keep their flag flying, with his hoops and free throws, denying Luxol a last chance to save the match. Floriana need only another win, in their remaining three matches.

Luxol: CJ Cordina 4, V. Jandric 23, J. Martin 18, P. Engelbert, JP Schembri 3, W. Ahlberg 18, M. Mercieca, F. Sekulic 2, D. Schembri 4, S. Cappello 2

Floriana: S. Pace, D. Bugeja 9, S. Borg, K. Caruana 5, K. Liivamagi 3, I. Arias 4, Ian Thiesen 34, K. Xuereb, G. Hulsen 24

Referees: B. Vassallo, T. Mantere, K. Dworniczak

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