Published on 16 January 2012
Basketball: MSV Life National League Men Division 1
by Willie Vassallo
Depiro Mtarfa 58
A to Z Electronics Ahleta 70
(10-17, 13-20, 11-18, 24-15)
Athleta’s second league win put them on a par with Luxol, at the top of the standings. They flitted away from Depiro early on in the match, to control proceedings, and built up a prohibitive advantage for their opponents. Depiro made a final effort, which helped them to make up a better score, but still not close enough to the champions, who always seemed to have that little extra in hand.
Depiro fielded their standard formation. Athleta now have their second foreigner, Marco Todorovic, from Serbia.
Depiro put in a quick two baskets, but Athleta settled down well, and a three basket run had them ahead. Depiro reacted, but Athleta made up a further 8-0 run, as Michael Naudi was heavily involved. Till the rest of the period Depiro sought to reduce their deficit, but were only moderately successful. In the second session Athleta didn’t lose time to open up their advantage, before there were triples at both ends, Roderick Vella for Depiro and Omar Said for Athleta, with the latter adding up more free shots. The rest of the session was more or less matched, but Athleat were in control, and not giving their opponents too much space. At the interval the champions had a 37-23 lead.
After the break Athleta went striding forward with an 11-0 run, ending with a number of Naudi points. Depiro responded, and made up a 9-2 run, ending with an Adrian Micallef triple. Athleta extended their lead once more, and after three sessions of play they were on a favourable 55-34 score. Triples opened up the last period, with Greg Hamlin for depiro and Said for the champions. Depiro built up a 9-2 run, but Athleta still enjoyed a heavy advantage. Depiro went slightly nearer, after some spectacular play from Hamlin, but the champions were keeping tabs, and never let their adversaries get near enough to cause any ripples of anxiety.
Depiro 8 R. Vella, JP Schembri,2 A. Aquilina, 2 A. Portelli, 10 A. Micallef, 2 E. Lupo, M. Mallia, 4 I. Tanti, 30 G. Hamlin
Athleta 20 M. Naudi, D. Bugeja, I. Buldakov, M. Giusti, 4 A. Fekete, 12 O. Said, 13 D. Schembri, 3 A. Bonnici, K. Baldacchino, 2 S. Schembri
Referees G. Barbara, A. Carbonaro, C. Terribile