Published Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The first phase of the men’s National League came to a close last weekend with the remaining three matches in the calendar. With Luxol and Loyola already out of the reckoning, the only issue to be determined was the semi-finals line-up.
Champions Athleta will continue their title defence with a best-of-three series against Siġġiewi while surprise package Floriana take on Depiro in the other match. The opening matches from the semi-final play-offs get underway on Sunday.
Loyola Tata Motors 81
Depiro Mtarfa 78
(24-22, 17-15, 13-18, 27-23)
Loyola completed their Phase One commitments with a sound win over Depiro who still qualified in third place.
The lead changed hands several times but at the break it was Loyola who were in front 41-37.
Depiro hit back strongly to go five points ahead (50-54) before the last 10 minutes got underway.
They held a 67-63 lead with only a few minutes left but Loyola grew in confidence and forged ahead as Depiro were unable to finish the job.
Loyola: S. Pace 6, B. Zammit 5, D. Camilleri 6, M. Cilia, S. Borg 6, L. Azzopardi, A. Axiaq 19, J.P. Azzo-pardi 11, J. Anastasi 1, J. Ransley, R. Harris 27.
Depiro: R. Vella 13, J.P. Schembri 3, N. Sultana 4, A. Aquilina 15, A. Portelli 4, A. Micallef 6, E. Lupo 6, M. Mallia 2, I. Tanti 6, G. Hamlin 19.
Referees: B. Vassallo, E. Mangani, C. Terribile.