Posted on Tuesday 19th April 2011
The champions overcame a feeble opening which didn’t augur well for them as they had to win this match at all costs.
Depiro failed to apply the killer touch and the Paolites made a good spell in the second period and they grew in confidence to take a lead after the interval.
In the final quarter it was Maria Desira who completely riddled the frail Depiro defence as her side back into contention and a defence of their five year title hold.
The champions recovered Alexis Darmanin but were without Mandy Zammit. Depiro had two youngsters just on the bench Justine Xuereb and Maria Bonett.
Depiro made the first inroad after a close opening with Antointte Borg points and after a Hibs reply Depiro went on to make an 8-2 run with a Greta Zarb triple.
After another Paolites’ hoop a three basket spree had Depiro in a better position with the champions finding difficulty in adjusting their defensive sector and allowing their opponents plenty of space. The second session turned out differently.
A second Zarb triple for Depiro didn’t have the desired effect on the Hibs side and it was actually the latter who produced a good spell of action when they accumulated a long 11-0 run which brought them breathing down Depiro’s neck.
A lone Borg free throw had depiro on a low 18-16 advantage at the interval.
After the break Depiro had Sarah Pace netting an early triple but the champions answered back with a 7-0 run beginning with a Kirsten Baldacchino trey as they went in front for the first time.
Depiro reacted well and Zarb’s third triple regained their advantage. Up until the end of the period Baldacchino’s second triple and Desira’s hoop had the Paolites 28-25 ahead with a session to go.
Desira then mesmerised the Depiro defence when she took the game into her own hands and proceeded to plant in a strong 11-0 personal run for a solid advantage.
Depiro had to strike back and stolen balls together with a Borg triple seemed to start a comeback. When Hibs stopped them the Depiro players were deflated and as time ran out on them the Paolites finished off in fine form as they overhauled Depiro in the standings.
Hibs: E. Micallef, E. Cassar. 2 L. Bezzina, F. Tabone, 20 M. Desira, 5 D. Micallef, A. Darmanin, 2 N. Arrigo, 8 K. Baldacchino, 6 J. Cardona
Depiro: 4 S. Pace, 11 G. Zarb, A. Mifsud, 3 F. Bianco, J. Busuttil Gaerty, 8 A. Borg, C. Sammut, E. Vella, 4 S. Micallef
Referees: A. Carbonaro, C. Terribile