Bank of Valletta KO final: McDonalds Depiro stifle Hibs Medsea out of the match

Published Tuesday 12th April 2011

by Willie Vassallo

Hibs are finding the going hard these days. They were defending an honour which they claim to be their own given the large number of times they have won it.

The truth was they were played completely out of the game by a tenacious Depiro side who wanted to show that they are in with a reckoning with or without Kaila Agius.

Depiro were still without Maria Bonett and for Hibs there was the missing Alexis Darmanin.

There was stifling marking from the Depiro end straight from the start. Depiro twice went in front after long spells of pointless play. The Paolites finally strung together a series of points to take a lead for the first time.

Francesca Bianco made her second hoop but Depiro were still a point adrift after the opening period. Hibs extended their advantage as Elena Cassar made her way on court. Depiro’s reaction brought about a new lead as Greta Zarb and Bianco netted their triples.

The champions’ efforts to pierce their opponents’ defence were not working and though they twice went to within a point it was still depiro in front at the interval on a very low 14-13 score.

After the break Hibs did go in front but didn’t enjoy their advantage long. When Depiro resorted to their triples the Paolites were in difficulties.

Antoinette Borg made the first one and she was followed by two more from Justine Busuttil Gaerty and in between Sarah Pace netted another one and her side’s lead went into double figures. With a quarter to go Hibs had fallen 22-34 behind.

The champions did not have the knowhow to get rid of their troublesome markers and never looked like making up the leeway. Zarb found space to put in her second triple but the match was in Depiro’s hands well before the final buzzer given the control they had.

At the end of the game the BOV Manager Marketing, Charles Azzopardi, presented the winning trophy to the Depiro captainEdwina Vella.

Depiro: 7 S. Pace, 6 G. Zarb, J. Xuereb, A. Mifsud, 9 F. Bianco, 6 J. Busuttil Gaerty, 16 A. Borg, C. Sammut, E. Vella, 4 S. Micallef

Hibs: E. Micallef, 4 E. Cassar, M. Zammit, 8 L. Bezzina, 1 F. Tabone, 3 M. Desira, 7 D. Micallef, N. Arrigo, K. Baldacchino, 9 J. Cardona

Referees: A. Carbonaro, L. Camilleri

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