No surprises as Siġġiewi, Athleta set up showdown

Published on Tuesday 29th November 2011

Siġġiewi 108
Depiro Mtarfa 100
(Two legs – 57-51, 51-49)

Siġġiewi came through a difficult spell before six consecutive free-throws by playmaker Alan Borg booked their place in the final.

Marco Matijevic was back for Siġġiewi while Depiro gave a debut to American player Greg Hamlin in the first leg of this semi-final. Two former Siġġiewi players, Adrian Micallef and Abraham Portelli, were in Depiro’s initial line-up.

Siġġiewi were first to settle as they opened an eight-point lead which they preserved until the end of the quarter, 18-10. They retained a slight edge over Depiro to increase their lead to 13 points by half-time, 33-20.

Starting the last quarter 47-30 ahead, Siġġiewi looked set for an easy win but they dropped their guard and Depiro took advantage to reduce the gap to six points, 57-51.

Depiro potted the first two baskets of the second leg but Alan Borg sparked a reaction from Siġġiewi who moved 13-7 in front.

Siġġiewi’s momentum was disrupted when Borg committed his third foul and had to be substituted. Depiro recovered to move to within a point of their opponents, 19-18.

The exchanges remained balanced but it was Depiro who led 30-27 at half-time.

After the interval, play became erratic as both teams opted for hurried conclusions.

Depiro began the last 10 minutes 42-40 ahead. In a low-scoring final session, Depiro were only a basket away from forcing extra-time but their captain committed his fifth foul with a minute left and Siġġiewi capitalised to seal their qualification to the final.

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