Published Tuesday 10th January 2012
Depiro Mtarfa 83
(16-31, 14-15, 19-16, 22-21)
Depiro launched their league campaign on a good note after seeing off Siġġiewi who lost their cool in a frantic finale.
Pity that in the best part of the match tension spilled over as Siġġiewi strongly contested a refereeing decision when they were narrowing the gap with their opponents.
Siġġiewi, without playmaker Louis Camilleri and Eman Xuereb, had a poor start with their former player Adrian Micallef doing much of the damage.
Siġġiewi looked to have surpassed that difficult moment as Marco Matijevic hit five points. However, their individual play was punished by Depiro who regained control and led 46-30 at half-time.
Siġġiewi were expected to raise their game after the interval but it was Depiro who continued to dictate matters.
Then, in the last minutes, Siġ-ġiewi found their touch and should have closed the gap further had they concluded their fast breaks instead of going for quick shots from the three-point line.
Depiro began the last 10 minutes 62-49 ahead but Siġġiewi kept up the momentum only for the refs to slap a technical foul on Alan Borg (who showed his disagree-ment with a decision) to spark confusion.
Siġġiewi were further angered with another decision against them in the Depiro zone and their protests led to the exclusion of Nigel Sultana. He was soon followed by Borg for showing dissent as his team-mates lost their heads and the game.
Here, one has to question the MBA’s policy to have the same referee controlling three consecutive matches, almost five hours on court, and expect him to retain his sharpness and mobility.
Siġġiewi: R. Agius, P. Shoults 14, N. Sultana 2, A. Borg 3, J.P. Azzopardi 4, C. Maeir 18, C. Kodomors, M. Majtevic 30.
Depiro: R. Vella 22, J.P. Schembri, A. Aquilina 5, A. Portelli 2, A. Micallef 21, E. Lupo 6, M. Mallia, I. Tanti 8, G. Hamlin 19.
Referees: G. Barbara, C. Terribile, S. Gouder.