Published Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Athleta A-Z Electronics 47
Depiro Mtarfa 70
(10-17, 13-16, 16-16, 8-21)
League leaders Athleta failed to live up to their billing and conceded their worst defeat in several years, the first in the championship this season after six successive wins.
This was a strange Athleta side that lacked enthusiasm and the will to play so Depiro took their chances well to strike a major surprise.
Former Siġġiewi player Nigel Sultana marked his debut for Depiro with 11 points.
Athleta started without top scorer Michael Naudi and the Schembri brothers and their absence showed as the team misfired badly.
Depiro won the first quarter and though Athleta improved after that, they still were far from their usual standards.
Depiro changed ends 33-23 up.
Playmaker Omar Said was also a shadow of the player we know. He was unable to up Athleta’s tempo and Depiro now led 49-39 as the last quarter got underway.
Athleta’s play became even more erratic as Depiro went on to inflict a heavy defeat on the champions who, in the end, looked more interested in contesting refs’ decisions than bridging the gap with their opponents.
Athleta: M. Naudi 11, D. Bugeja 2, M. Todorvic 13, M. Giusti, D. Schembri 4, O. Said 5, A. Bonnici 6, K. Baldacchino 3, S. Schembri 3.
Depiro: R. Vella 18, J.P. Sammut, N. Sultana 11, A. Aquilina 11, A. Portelli 2, A. Micallef 10, E. Lupo, M. Mallia, I. Tanti 2, G. Hamlin 16.
Referees: G. Barbara, E. Mangani, C. Terribile.