Siġġiewi and Athleta A-Z Electronics will meet in the final of the MBA Shield after overcoming BUPA Luxol and Depiro Mtarfa respectively in the semi-finals last weekend. This will be the third final between these two teams this season after they also contested the Super Cup and Gozo Cup.
Depiro Mtarfa 52
(8-18, 14-13, 11-17, 19-19)
Athleta stayed in the hunt to win their third honour of the season with a merited victory over Depiro in their MBA Shield semi-final last weekend.
Much more was expected from Depiro who had Gary Hamlin, of the US, and former Siġġiewi forward Adrian Micallef making their debut.
Hamlin distinguished himself with some fine assists and timely blocks but his shooting requires some polishing.
Bahrain’s Mohammed Kawaid, making his bow for Athleta, was more positive in his scoring power, finishing top-scorer of the match with 16 points.
After the opening minutes, Depiro fluffed some easy chances besides losing possession in five consecutive attacks.
Athleta took advantage to lead 18-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Depiro improved but, after reducing the gap to five points 26-21, Athleta regained control to change ends 31-22 ahead.
Depiro’s reaction failed to arrive after the interval. They had problems opening up Athleta’s aggressive defence.
A series of good moves proved too much for Depiro’s slow-moving zone defence as Athleta increased their advantage to 48-33 for the last 10 minutes.
Athleta had little difficulty to control their lead until the final whistle.
Depiro: R. Vella 9, J.P. Schembri, A. Aquilina 6, A. Portelli 8, A. Micallef 7, E. Lupo, M. Mallia, I. Tanti 11, G. Hamlin 11.
Athleta: M. Naudi 12, D. Bugeja 6, M. Kawaid 16, D. Schembri 14, A. Fakete 5, O. Said 8, A. Bonnici 6, K. Baldacchino, M. Giusti.
Referees: G. Barbara, E. Mangani, A. Carbonaro.