The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

Basketball, Women's Mapfre MSV Life Play Offs: Low score match goes Hibs' way

Willie Vassallo Sunday, 14 April 2019, 21:13 Last update: about 5 months ago
Photos: Domenic Aquilina
Photos: Domenic Aquilina

Starlites GIG     44     Hibernians     49    

(12-11, 16-9, 11-15, 5-14)

The Paolites recovered well from the previous match drubbing they suffered, at Starlites' hands. This time around the boot was on the other foot, as teh Hibs players kept a better check on Starlites' aerial height advantage, and on their adversaries' ball handler. Starlites also paid special attention to Hibs' American lady and the opposing livewire, despite her age, but the overall result still tilted the scales in the Paolites' favour. The series remains wide open, with every option a possibility.

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Hibs had Leanne Duncan hot, straight from the opening blocks, with a personal 7-0 advantage. Starlites recovered well, to post a 12-2 run of their own, with Santo Domingan, Gepcelis Reynoso, and Joey Grima using their height, to turn the score around, in their side's favour. Sophie Abela's free shots were not enough to regain the champions' lead, as they stayed a point behind. In teh second quarter Starlites edged away from their adversaries, and Kirsty galea sank a triple. Starlites managed a double figure advantage. but American, Amelia Simmons' brace of buckets gnawed off some of the deficit. Spaniard, Patricia Arguello's free shots gave Starlites a 29-20 lead at the interval.

After the break the Paolites began their way back Sam Brincat netted an early trey, but Reynoso's hoops kept Starlites on the same advantage. The next minutes saw the champions pressing further, and they tied the score, with more Brincat points, and a second triple. Starlites regained their advantage, and stayed there till the end of the session, on a 39-35 score. The last period was made up of three phases. The Paolites started off, by registering a 9-0 run, led by Simmons, to push themselves in front. Then it was Starlites' turn, and galea points, with free throws, put the score on a par. Those were the only points obtained by Starlites, in this last session. Hibs prevailed, and more Simmons points, and a final Elena Cassar free shot, supplied the champions with their victory, and a tie in the series. This ensured a four-game series, at least, with the third encounter coming after the Easter period.

Starlites: M. Zammit Cordina, K. Galea 12, M. Riolo, H. Acreman, M. Bonett 3, G. Reynoso 14, C. Curmi, J. Grima 7, P. Arguello 8, M. Cutajar, S. Davies, A. Lupo

Hibs: E. Micallef, E. Cassar 2, K. Calleja, S. Brincat 12, I. Agius, J. Abela, S. Abela 4, A. Simmons 20, J. Scerri, H. Al Tumi, K. Caruana 2, L. Duncan 9 

Referees: K. Dworniczak, D.  Torok, M. Hraisha

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