Posted by Malta Independent on Monday 13th January 2014
Bank Of Valletta Knock Out Final
Pavi Depiro 77 Floriana Royce 69
(25-14, 20-20, 14-17, 18-18)
This was a turn up for the Greens. They began the game in a confident mood, seeing their opponents facing them without a foreigner. Depiro had released their American, Turrell Morris, and brought over an Australian, Matthew Adekponya, but his release papers had not yet arrived, and he was only a spectator for this match. This did not seem to deter Depiro, who broke away from their adversaries, to establish a good advantage, which they held on to till late in the game, denying their opponents a bite at overturning the score. Depiro also included Michael agius in their side, with Floriana able to play Billy Zammit, after his recent transfer.
The Greens started off with Clayton calleja points, in a 7-4 score, but then Depiro took over, and managed to make up a 10-2 run, with a Roderick Vella triple. Andrew Aquilina, also with a trey, and Sam Bartolo increased their advantagewith Floriana unable to get any nearer. In the second session Depiro were still administering the play, holding on to their lead. When Floriana were busy trying to make up the leeway, depiro struck back, with two Aquilina treys and another by Bartolo, and although Derek Elston also netted a triple for the Greens, Depiro had slipped firther away. Floriana ended the period with a 7-0 runand a David agius trey, but were still 34-45 behind at the interval.
After the break Floriana began to creep back, but were halted with another Aquilina triple. Elston also sank a second triple for the Greens, and with Dirk schembri points they moved fractionally nearer, with Depiro still enjoying a 59-51 advantage, with a session still to go. Floriana were jolted, as Depiro put in an 8-2 run, throwing the Greens further behind. It was then Floriana’s turn, with an 8-0 run of their own, and later on Peter Shoults netted a triple, as the Greens raised some hopes. Late in the match depiro played possession, and Vella ably held the ball, and netted his free throws, after being fouled. Floriana saw their slim chances fade away, and Depiro went into the final, to face athlete.
Depiro: R. Vella 16, N. Sultana 4, A. Aquilina 19, A. Portelli 8, S. Bartolo 15, A. Axiaq 9, E. Lupo 2, I. Tanti 4. M. Agius
Floriana: O. Shamala , D. Elston 26, D. Camilleri 4, P. Shoults 10, S. Borg , B. Zammit , C. Calleja 9, D. Schembri 15, S. Saakian , D. Agius 5