Floriana Fran. Fenech 74
(16-10, 16-23, 25-19, 17-15)
Floriana put aside their upset to Luxol in the KO final to beat Depiro in a thrilling match.
Depiro’s last efforts nearly paid off but somehow Floriana held on before four consecutive free-throws by Evan Fjeld sealed their victory.
Contrary to their last few outings, Floriana looked steady at the start and with playmaker Chris Sammut focused on his game, they went 10-2 up.
After a time-out, Depiro looked better and with Greg Hamlin more active underneath the boards, they surprised Floriana with ten consecutive points to lead 20-16.
Floriana halted the rot but seven points in succession saw Depiro 33-26 ahead only for Paul Ferrante’s team to come back and change ends a point behind, 33-32.
The match continued with two referees after the interval as Bernard Vassallo sustained an injury and he had to retire.
Depiro emerged better from the break to open a 42-36 lead. But Floriana recovered in style to start the last ten minutes 57-52 ahead.
They extended that lead to 67-55 when Depiro coach Mario Tabone opted for a time-out and pressed full court.
The move surprised Floriana who gave away precious possession allowing Depiro to move to within a basket (67-65) with less than two minutes left.
Floriana took a time-out and the partial break left the desired effect as they overcame a difficult moment and made sure of victory from the free-throw line.
Floriana: J. Curmi, C. Sammut 22, I. Mercieca 7, S. Sammut 2, C. Calleja 7, A. Baldacchino, E. Fjeld 34, A. Sultana 2, M. Ciantar.
Depiro: R. Vella 9, J.P. Schembri, N. Sultana 9, A. Aquilina 8, A. Portelli 3, A. Micallef 14, E. Lupo, M. Mallia, I. Tanti 4, G. Hamlin 20.
Referees: B. Vassallo, E. Mangani, S. Gouder.