Article published on 25 January 2012
by Willie Vassallo
McDonalds Depiro 66
Hibs Melita Gardens 63
(16-14, 21-19, 17-10, 12-20)
Depiro surmounted the Hibs obstacle in a match which had Depiro dominant in phases but then they had to pull out all the stops to prevent the Paolites from overtaking them – a situation that Hibs didn’t manage throughout the whole match.
Depiro couldn’t have hoped for a better start as they built up a 12-0 advantage along with two triples from Sam Brincat. The Paolites finally stopped them and although Depiro had free throws Hibs reacted well and went on till the end of the session to make up a good 12-2 run, mostly from Lena Gipson as Depiro’s lead dwindled down to a mere basket.
In the second session the game was balanced as Depiro hung on to their advantage and Antoinette Borg netted a triple. The Paolites returned to a point in arrears on several occasions but never made the breakthrough.
Late in the session Depiro managed an 8-2 run to open up the lead but Kirsten Baldacchino nailed a triple for Hibs. At the intercval Depiro were 37-33 ahead.
After the break, the Paolites were back at a basket behind but Depiro extended their lead once more.
Although Hibs crept nearer it was Depiro with the better finish to the period with a 7-0 run for a 54-43 advantage with a session to be played.
Depiro were in command at first and their lead kept on to a 62-48 score. Hibs suddenly began to click and a Lucienne Bezzina triple started them off to a good 11-0 run and Depiro’s lead vanished to a single point.
The Paolites still couldn’t overtake their adversaries and Depiro held out with Brincat delivering the finishing touch with her free throws in the last seconds of the encounter as her side is now on top of the table.
Depiro: A. Mifsud, G. Mifsud, M. Mifsud, 18 S. Brincat, 17 V. Woods, 6 F. Bianco, 2 T. De Martino, 13 A. Borg, C. Sammut, E. Vella, S. Micallef, 10 S. De Martino
Hibs: J. Xerri, 3 E. Cassar, F. Mifsud, 6 L. Bezzina, 9 M. Desira, K. Gatt, 5 N. Arrigo, 9 K. Baldacchino, 2 J. Cardona, 29 L. Gipson
Referees: G. Barbara, S. Gouder