|Basketball – Bank of Valletta KO (women): Hibs Medsea beat McDonalds Depiro for second seasonal honour|
Hibs made it two honours this season up till now beating Depiro with a handsome score.
The champions have a proud record in this competition as they have won all the 14 finals they have contested. They have also managed to win it for eight years running.
Depiro seemed to pay too much respect to their adversaries and they practically had to chase their opponents all through the game except for their opening free shot. The Paolites played confidently and never seemed to lose their cool even when Depiro tried to press and erase the deficit rising against them.
Depiro had Kelly Busuttil missing once again and Hibs had Naomi Xuereb once more in their ranks.
Hibs replied to Depiro’s opening free throw with a good 9-2 run with Kirsten Micallef and Doreen Micallef points the latter also with a triple. Depiro rallied back to cut down on their deficit with Greta Zarb hoops but Maria Desira came off the bench for the Paolites to net a couple of baskets as the champions opened up a useful first session lead.
Depiro returned in the second period as they netted a 7-0 run with a Sarah Pace triple and the game became a close one before they were stopped with a Joselle Cardona three point play.
The champions opened up their advantage once more before treys were put in at both ends – Justine Busuttil Gaerty for Depiro and an instant reply from the Paolites’ Kirsten Micallef – as Hibs went in at the interval on a 30-22 advantage.
After the break, the champions went further in front with a Lucienne Bezzina triple but Kaila Agius replied with personal points as her side went nearer but when Doreen Micallef popped up the Paolites went three baskets in a row to the good for a 41-28 Hibs lead.
Free shots gave Depiro some leeway in cutting down on their arrears but a Desira three point play had the champions on a 46-34 advantage after three sessions.
Desira kept on with two more hoops in the final quarter and Depiro had a mountain to climb. They were subjected to further assails as Kirsten Micallef poured in two more triples although in bwteen Zarb also netted a long one for Depiro.
Hibs’ lead was too prohibitive and the champions ended the match in a flourish putting in an 8-2 run to celebrate their second seasonal honour.
After the game, the BOV representative, Edward Muscat Azzopardi, presented the Hibs captain Lucienne Bezzina with her side’s back to back success in the KO.
Depiro: 5 S. Pace, 8 G. Zarb, J. Xuereb, A. MIfsud, C. Tanti, A. Demanuele, 3 J. Busuttil Gaerty, 2 A. Borg, 10 C. Sammut, E. Vella, 4 S. Micallef, 17 K. Agius.
Hibs: E. Micallef, E. Cassar, D. Cassar, 4 L. Bezzina, F. Tabone, 11 M. Desira, 18 D. Micallef, 6 A. Darmanin, 2 N. Arrigo, 15 K. Micallef, 12 J. Cardona, N. Xuereb.
Referees: Emanuel Mangani, Alfred Carbonaro.