Article published on 24 January 2012
by Willie Vassallo
A to Z Electronics Athleta 91
Bupa Luxol 57
(22-11, 14-13, 34-15, 31-18)
The champions are now alone at the top of the standings as they handed Luxol their first league defeat and also beating them for the fourth time in five matches.
The champions began with a Michael Naudi triple and held their lead despite Luxol’s baskets.
Midway through the session Athleta made up a 9-0 run to steer a little bit clear but Jeron Belin points had Luxol nearer. In the last stages of the session Athleta extended their advantage also with a Steve Schembri triple and a double figure advantage.
In the second period Athleta put in an 8-0 run and eased away from their adversaries. The Violets retaliated with a 7-2 run and a Belin triple but they were still at a distance and Athleta could hold them off till the interval on a 36-24 score.
After the break Athleta began with a three basket spread before Luxol could start to reply. Later on the champions made another 9-2 run with an Omar Said triple and Naudi also netted his second trey leaving Luxol stranded.
The latter made up some points before the period ended but Athleta were still 60-39 in front.
In the last session it was the order of the triples as said put in two more for Athleta and Steve Schembri then let loose as he poured in three more treys.
In between the Violets made points of their own including a Belin triple but they always trailing badly and Athleta took their sole place at the top of the table.
Athleta: 23 M. Naudi, D. Bugeja, I. Buldakov, 16 M. Todorovic, M. Giusti, 16 O. Said, 14 D. Schembri, 6 A. Bonnici, 2 K. Baldacchino, 14 S. Schembri
Luxol: 8 CJ Cordina, 8 M. Mercieca, 27 J. Belin, 2 A. Micallef Trigona, L. Ross, A. Costa, 4 N. Vasovic, 4 T. Paris, M. Attard Montalto, E. Caruana Montaldo, 4 JP Bonnici, S. Cappello
Referees: G. Barbara, C. Terribile, L. Camilleri
Floriana Francesco Fenech 65
Depiro Mtarfa 37
(16-6, 17-11, 19-8, 13-12)
Floriana kept up the good work from their victory over Loyola getting back to back wins and also registering their second victory in four matches against Depiro.
The Greens opened up well as Chris Sammut nailed an early triple and they went on to lead 7-0 with further Fjeld points.
Emanuel Lupo started Depiro’s account but Floriana made another 7-0 run with a second Sammut trey. Till the end of the period Depiro could only get fractionally nearer and Floriana kept tabs on their opponents.
In the second session Depiro tried to get back in contention as early as possible and put in a 7-0 run mostly from Roderick Vella. The Greens rode this brief spell and Sammut sank a further triple in another 7-0 run. Both sides then answered each other in baskets until Floriana made up a three basket spread. At the interval Depiro were trailing 17-33.
After the break Depiro with Hamlin on the bench with fouls tried to limit the damage and were successful in part but they were still found wanting in attack.
Floriana began to pick up once more later on in the session and they finished off with a good 11-2 run as Fjeld besides other points also netted a triple. With a period to go the Greens were 52-25 ahead.
Depiro began with a brace of hoops but it was Floriana who stormed forward and this resulted in a further 13-0 run by Chris Sammut with a fourth triple and more Fjeld points to set the seal on a handsome victory. Depiro did end on a good note and an 8-0 run but this was only cosmetic to bring up their tally a little bit more but nothing to hide their heavy defeat.
Floriana: J. Curmi, 22 C. Sammut, I. Mercieca, S. Sammut. C. Calleja, Baldacchino, 35 E. Fjeld, 6 A. Sultana, 2 M. Ciantar
Depiro: 8 R. Vella, JP Schembri, A. Aquilina, 6 A. Portelli, A. Micallef, 4 E. Lupo, M. Mallia, 8 I. Tanti, 9 G. Hamlin
Referees: G. Barbara, S. Gouder, C. Terribile