Article published on 21 February 2012
Hibs Melita Gardens 48
McDonalds Depiro 43
(9-13, 14-7, 13-9, 12-14)
Hibs garnered their second honour of the season, again at the expense of Depiro, having already beaten them in the Louis Borg Cup.
It was a game of errors and hesitation with both teams paying too much respect for each other. They were wary of committing mistakes and that resulted in both teams making more than usual. Hibs had to put in the game’s last points for their victory as Depiro had pulled back on various occasions.
This was the Paolites’ 15th time that they took home this honour thus becoming a familiar one for them. Lena Gipson was a pillar in defence for them and Sam Brincat never stopped running for Depiro while Christine Sammut was a surprise package although finishing up on the losing side.
Hibs were once again without Alexis Cutajar. Depiro recovered Sam Brincat but Vontisha Woods had to cry off for the second match in succession.
Depiro began with an Antoinette Borg triple which augured well but play then became erratic. The Paolites turned the score around but that was the last time they were ahead in the opening period.
Depiro then spent the next minutes adding on to their slim advantage with Hibs somehow finding a suitable reply mainly from Lena Gipson free throws. Steffi De Martino hoops were enough for Depiro to keep Hibs behind them.
In the next session it was the Paolites who were the more aggressive side. An opening 8-0 run ending with a Joselle Cardona triple had them regaining an advantage.
De Martino lost no time in netting a Depiro triple but all that her side could do was to advance to just a point in arrears on three occasions but couldn’t surpass their adversaries. Cardona’s next hoops and Gipson’s free throws had Hibs on a low 23-20 advantage halfway through the encounter.
After the break, Hibs could inch further in front at first but then Depiro seemed to have found a way past the Paolites’ rearguard and an 8-2 run, as Christine Sammut went on court and was more accurate in shooting than her other team mates, put the score on level terms.
The breakthrough didn’t come though for Depiro and Hibs ended the period on a 7-0 spurt – nearly all the points from Lucienne Bezzina including a triple.
As the last session started Hibs were on a 36-29 advantage. Hibs managed to eke out a further lead with a Kirsten Baldacchino triple.
Depiro had to make their move and De Martino was on hand again with her free shots in a 9-2 run which brought her side to a point away.
The Paolites held on but Depiro were back to take the game into a tied score and set up an intriguing finish. Depiro were in too much of a hurry and missed their shots allowing Hibs, who took longer to set up their plays, to forge ahead once more.
Brincat was fouled out for Depiro and the side also lost coach Adrian Mifsud on his second technical foul.
The last free throws enabled Hibs to take the game away from their opponents and seal the result.
After the match, the BOV Manager Marketing, Edward Muscat Azzopardi, presented the Hibs captain, Lucienne Bezzina, with the winning trophy which was the fourth honour of the women’s season and the Paolites’ second.
Hibs: J. Xerri, E. Cassar, F. Mifsud, 10 L. Bezzina, M. Zammit, K. Gatt, 6 N. Arrigo, 3 K. Baldacchino, 9 J. Cardona, 12 L. Gipson
Depiro: A. Mifsud, G, Mifsud, J. Xuereb, 7 S. Brincat, T. Mifsud, 6 F. Bianco, T. De Martino, 6 A. Borg, 8 C. Sammut, E. Vella, S. Micallef, 16 S. De Martino
Referees: G. Barbara, E. Mangani