Article published on 21 February 2012
A to Z Elec. Athleta 47
Depiro Mtarfa 70
(10-17, 13-16, 16-16, 8-21)
Depiro produced a surprise as they brushed away Athleta’s unbeaten league status. It was also an important step towards a place in the playoffs as they overtook Floriana in second place.
Athleta seemed a lethargic side for most of the game and, despite a good opening, Depiro were always the better side. Once they went ahead they never relinquished their advantage increasing it to a heavy lead at the game’s end.
The champions were without Ivan Buldakov but they recovered the Schembri brothers Steve and Dirk. Depiro included Nigel Sultana for the frist time after his suspension and subsequent transfer from Siggiewi. They also recovered Emanuel Lupo.
Athleta had Kristin Baldacchino and Omar said with the opening triples but Depiro reacted with a couple of hoops. Athleta made the next basket but then they were surprised by a Depiro bright spell and a solid 11-0 run with an Andrew aquiline triple. Depiro held their lead till the end of the session.
In the second period Athleta were still chasing their opponents and they had to reply three times to Depiro’s further hoops.
The latter were still very active as they put in a 10-2 run with Greg Hamlin baskets on either side of the score. Athleta recovered late in the session to put in a three basket spread but they were still 23-33 in arrears at the interval buzzer.
After the break, there were triples at either end with Roderick Vella, for Depiro, and Michael Naudi, for the champions.
Depiro held on with more points from Vella while Naudi and Marco Todorovic answered for Athleta to draw closer. Depiro’s free throws opened up a better advantage and late points at both ends had Depiro on an unlikely 49-39 lead.
In the last quarter free throws dragged the champions nearer but Depiro were equal to the occasion with Vella netting another triple. Athleta were still relying on free shots but Vella made two further treys in a 12-2 run and his side went way out in front. There was no decent Athleta reaction as Depiro opened their lead further till the end of the game.
Athleta: 11 M. Naudi, 2 D. Bugeja, 13 M. Todorovic, M. Giusti, 5 O. Said, 4 D. Schembri, 6 A. Bonnici, 3 K. Baldacchino, 3 S. Schembri
Depiro: 18 R. Vella, JP Schembri, 11 N. Sultana, 11 A. Aquilina, 2 A. Portelli, 10 A.Micallef, E. Lupo, M. Mallia, 2 I. Tanti, 16 G. Hamlin
Referees: G. Barbara, E. Mangani. C. Terribile