Article published on 07 March 2012
by Willie Vassallo
McDonalds Depiro 53
(10-15, 23-13, 14-12, 17-13)
In the last match of the first round, Luxol recovered from their defeat by Loyola in midweek to inflict the first loss on Depiro bringing three teams on level points at the top of the standings.
A good Depiro opening was not enough as the champions rallied back and their triples stretched Depiro, who had to chase elusive opponents after the interval.
Despite losing players on fouls the Violets held out to register their win.
Luxol’s only absentee was Lara Chetcuti. Depiro had their coach Adrian Mifsud suspended with Joe Vella taking his place. Edwina Vella is on a long term injury.
Depiro made an auspicious start with a 9-0 run and a couple of Steffi De Martino hoops. Luxol replied with a Beverlee Zammit triple and they went closer later on.
Free throws extended Depiro’s lead but Mandi Sciortino netted another triple for the Violets. A Sam Brincat three point play had Depiro extending their lead once more.
In the second session, Luxol were level with a Sarah Pace triple and the same Luxol replied twice more as Brincat netted a Depiro trey with an instant reaction and a second Pace triple for Luxol.
Depiro forged forward again but this time Luxol made a better response with an 8-2 run and a Greta Zarb trey. Depiro were back on level terms but in the remaining time it was Robin Murphy for Luxol with her points and a triple for a 33-28 advantage at the interval.
After the break, Depiro’s attempts to annul their deficit were spoilt by another Pace triple and the Violets held on to their lead until Depiro’s spurt brought them to just a basket behind.
Then it was Luxol again to increase their efforts and finish off the session on a 7-2 run which had them on a 47-40 advantage.
Sciortino’s points extended the Violets lead in the final session but Depiro then made their reaction with the champions losing two players – Murphy and Sciortino – on fouls.
A 9-0 run with a Brincat triple had Depiro just behind their adversaries. Luxol put in a second Zarb triple with Depiro going close yet again. Free throws helped Luxol to open up a better advantage which continued to build up till the end of the match.
Luxol: 14 S. Pace, 13 M. Sciortino, C. Medina, 2 B. Naudi, J. Busuttil Gaerty, 14 G. Zarb, P. Ellul, 10 R. Murphy, 1 D. Muscat, 2 A. Paul, 8 B. Zammit
Depiro: A. Mifsud, G. Mifsud, J. Xuereb, 23 S. Brincat, 3 V. Woods, 3 F. Bianco, T. De Martino, 4 A. Borg, C. Sammut, M. Mifsud, 3 S. Micallef, 17 S. De Martino
Referees: E. Mangani, S. Gouder