Article published on 15 February 2012
by Willie Vassallo
McDonalds Depiro 65
Alyssa Ashley Loyola 54
(14-12. 15-10, 20-18, 16-14)
Depiro kept up their unbeaten league run and held on to their top placing handing Loyola their first league defeat.
It was also Depiro’s third win in four matches against their opponents.
A solid defence brought about Depiro’s victory to boost their hopes for next Sunday’s KO final against the Paolites in the Women’s fourth honour of the season.
Depiro’s important players were both missing – injured – as Vontisha Woods and Sam Brincat had to cry off with Justine Xuereb and Martina Scicluna taking their place. Loyola recovered Kirsty Tonna to the side.
Both sides put in early triples with Francesca Bianco for Depiro and Denise Hollier for Loyola. The latter’s later lead was neutralised with Bianco’s second triple and that began a 9-1 run when Steffi De Martino also netted a trey. Desarae Johnson kept up her points grabbing to reduce Loyola’s deficit late in the session.
The second period had Depiro extending their advantage once again with a 7-2 run. Loyola recovered to a basket behind with more Johnson points. Depiro broke away once more with Loyola unable to make any decent penetrations. Depiro built up a 7-2 run mostly from free throws as they exploited Loyola’s hesitant play to lead 29-22 at the interval.
After the break, Depiro’s quest continued and an 11-2 run with De Martino free throws had them on a solid advantage. Loyola tried to stage a recovery but their 8-0 run as Johnson was still holding her side in contention was stopped by a second De Martino triple. Loyola’s next three hoops were also answered properly when Depiro came up with two more treys from Antoinette Borg and the score reached a 49-40 figure.
In the last quarter, Depiro again recorded a 7-2 run. Loyola struck back with a 7-0 run to open up possibilities but free shots gave Depiro more room to keep a hold on the match and ensure their top spot in the standings.
Depiro: 9 A. Mifsud, G. Mifsud, J. Xuereb, T. Mifsud, M. Scicluna, 13 F. Bianco, 1 T. De Martino, 23 A. Borg, C. Sammut, 1 E. Vella, 1 S. Micallef, 17 S. De Martino
Loyola: 2 E. Moore, 9 C. Grima, 2 J. Doughty, 7 D. Hollier, K. Tonna, A. Bonanno, J. Mangion, 4 A. Sciberras, S. Schembri Wismayer, SJ Barbara, 30 D. Johnson
Referees: E. Mangani, A. Carbonaro