Article published on 12 March 2012
by Willie Vassallo
Depiro Mtarfa 72
Bupa Luxol 71
(21-12, 22-19, 12-15, 17-25)
Depiro made sure of a playoff place, with their third win in four games over Luxol, which left the Violets out of the reckoning, for the first time since the playoffs were introduced. Luxol were always chasing their opponents, most of the time at a distance. In the last stages of the game the Violets made a huge effort, which took them nearer, until only a point behind, on three occasions. A late strategy failed, and Depiro just held their noses in front, for the victory.
Depiro had Isaac Tanti missing from the match. Luxol had their latest full side on show.
Depiro started with Andrew aquiline coming out of the blocks in earnest, with a brace of triples, and Roderick vella making up more points, in a 9-2 lead. There was no suitable Luxol reply, and Depiro went forward, with another 8-0 run, and Adrian Micallef points. The Violets finally began to make their mark, especially from Jeron belin, as they closed down a little on their adversaries, who still had a useful advantage. The second session was a more balanced one, Aquilina began with a third trey, and then it was a case of Luxol having to reply , through Belin and Mercieca, to points obtained from Abraham Portelli, and later on from Greg Hamlin. The Violets couldn’t get any nearer, with depiro quite capable of controlling the game till the interval, where they held a 43-31 advantage.
After the break, and early points from Emanuel Lupo, fresh from the bench, for Depiro, Luxol put in an 8-2 run, with a Lee Ross triple. Depiro then made their shots, mostly from Hamlin, leaving the Violets to catch up every time, with Belin and Mercieca hoops. That left depiro with a good lead, with a period to go, and a 55-46 score.Luxol began their haul back early on in the last session. An 8-2 run, with triples from Ross and Belin, put them in contention. Later on another Belin triple kept them close. Depiro eked out a better lead, but the Violets had Ross with another trey, and just a point behind. There wasn’t much time left, but Depiro made their free throws, when Luxol tried to stop the clock. Luxol tried to win the match outright, but Depiro just held out, to register an important win.
Depiro 10 R. Vella, JP Schembri, 2 N. Sultana, 15 A. Aquilina, 6 A. Portelli, 18 A.Micallef, 5 E. Lupo, M. Mallia, 16 G. Hamlin
Luxol CJ Cordina, 11 M. Mercieca, 51 J. Belin, A. Micallef Trigona, 9 L. Ross, A. Costa, N. Vasovic, T. Paris, E. Caruana Montaldo, JP Bonnici, S. Cappello
Referees B. Vassallo, G. Barbara, E. Mangani