Published 22nd February 2011
Luxol made it a century win in their third seasonal victory over Mtarfa.
Despite their loss Mtarfa totted up a decent score notwithstanding the pressure they had to endure and the points conceded. The Violets were consistent in all the sessions and their seven players all put their names on the score sheet. Mtarfa had Yana Muscat and Graziella Santillo unavailable along with Adriana Demanuele. Luxol were without Beverlee Zammit and Emma Grech. Luxol put in four hoops at the start and although Mtarfa replied later on there was Steffi De Martino with her points in a 9-0 Luxol run as her side went clear. Mtarfa retaliated once more but the Violets ended the period with abrace of hoops. In the second session Mtarfa were livelier bit Luxol had Diana Muscat lethal under the boards. The Violets made a mid-session 10-2 run as Maria Agius was making Mtarfa’s hoops. Another 10-0 Luxol run helped them to stretch their advantage and at the interval they enjoyed a 50-23 lead. After the break Nicola Said netted an Mtarfa triple but Luxol then made up a 10-2 run as Muscat kept up her rythym. Although for Mtarfa there was Martha Abela with a trey they suffered a late and heavy 16-3 run as Mandi Sciortino sank a triple for a 76-31 Luxol lead. The last period had the Violets still pouring in their points with another 10-0 run before they were stopped by a Gaby Mifsud triple. Luxol’s answer came from more treys – a second from Sciortino and from Louisa Serge. Abela also sank a second trey for Mtarfa. Luxol’s century was reached with Paula Ellul free throws.
Mtarfa: 8 M. Abela, M. Azzopardi, 12 M. Agius, 4 C. Gauci Meilak, R. Sammut, 11 N. Said, F. Borg, M. Scicluna, 8 G. Mifsud
Luxol: 12 E. Moore, 14 M. Sciortino, 12 L. Serge, 9 B. Naudi, 19 S. De Martino, 8 P. Ellul, 26 D. Muscat
Referees: J. Mangani, R. Darmanin
Hibs Medsea 50
St Andrews 35
Five days after running the same opponents ragged in another competition, the Paolites were too sure of themselves and paid the price in the first part of the match. The champions were better after the break but full marks go to the Saints for their wholehearted commitment to the game.This was actually Hibs’ fourth victory over St Andrews this season. The champions fielded a nearly full complement as they recovered Caroline Schiavone. The Saints were without Moira Caruana and Kay Portelli but Nadia Cassar was back and Rachelle Zammit made an appearance. The two sides traded points at the start with the Saints three times in front. The Paolites then had a better sequence of play as they began with a Kirsten Baldacchino triple and went on to register an 11-3 run when Justine Mangion put in St Andrews’ share. In the second session the champions took time to increase their lead but then they dried up completely as they missed all their chances when various bench players were on court. St Andrews took their cue and finished the period off with a 10-0 run when Madeleine De Martino netted a last second hoop. At the interval the score was tied at 20-20. After the break the Paolites began to wake up to their responsibilities and Doreen Micallef started them off with her points. They built up a 12-0 run which ended with an Elena Cassar triple. The Saints had Josette Calleja with her side’s only points of the session and Joselle Cardona replied for Hibs and they led 36-23. The champions began the last quarter on a four basket run three of them from Maria Desira. The Saints had a reply with Calleja netting a triple in a good 10-2 run. They were still at a distance and Hibs could stroll through the last stages.
Hibs: E. Micallef, 5 E. Cassar, M. Zammit, 14 L. Bezzina, F. Tabone, 8 M. Desira, 7 D. Micallef, 2 N. Arrigo, 6 K. Baldacchino, 6 J. Cardona, 2 C. Schiavone
St Andrews: R. De Martino, 4 N. Cassar, 8 J. Calleja, N. Scicluna, 6 R. Magro, R. Zammit, 10 J. Mangion, T. De Martino, I. Galea, 7 M. De Martino
Referees: E. Mangani, A. Carbonaro
McDonalds Depiro 73
Starlites Sports Exp. 20
Depiro went alongside Luxol in top position once more when they dispatched Starlites in their third seasonal victory over their adversaries. It was tough for Starlites from the start as the Depiro lasses opened up with all cylinders burning. The losers made their points in fits and starts and the Depiro players with the exception of one all put their names on the scoresheet. Depiro had just the one absentee Christine Sammut. Starlites were without Amanda Farrugia and Claire Scicluna. At the start it was Depiro with the opening hoop and a reply from Starlites. From then on it was Kaila Agius leading her pack as they poured in a hefty 22-0 run with Agius Sarah Pace and Justine Busuttil Gaerty netting their triples. In the second period and an early Mtarfa basket Depiro took over once again although on a lesser scale. A 9-0 run began with a Justine Xuereb trey. Mtarfa then had more of the match as Depiro’s bench players went on court. Mtarfa made a 6-2 run with a Lara Pisani triple. At the interval Depiro were on a 37-10 advantage. After the break Depiro were on the warpath again. An opening 17-0 run had Greta Zarb as the protagonist. Depiro were stopped by a personal 7-0 run by Stralites’ Marilou Cutajar. There were hoops at both ends till the end of the period which ended 58-19 in Depiro’s favour. The last session was another trying time for the losers. A 13-0 run continued to expand Depiro’s growing advantage. Mtarfa put in their only contribution for the session before the match faded away with a couple of Depiro free throws.
Depiro: 13 S. Pace, 13 G. Zarb, 4 J. Xuereb, A. Mifsud, 4 M. Bonett, 2 F. Bianco, 6 A. Borg, 5 J. Busuttil Gaerty, 2 E. Vella, 4 S. Micallef, 20 K. Agius
Starlites: C. Riolo, 2 A. Grixti, S. Tabone, 3 L. Pisani, C. Spiteri, 2 L. Pirotta, N. Attard, 2 MC Cilia, C. Scicluna, 11 M. Cutajar
Referees: E. Mangani, A. Carbonaro
Alyssa Ashley Loyola 41
Athleta finally managed to beat their rivals after three matches this season. Athleta’s last hoop which took them to a nine point win was just enough for them to leapfrog over Loyola after direct encounters in the table although both sides are on equal points. The victory matured in the last stages of the match as Athleta obtained what they were after. Loyola were missing Elena Falzon Kirstie Tonna and Francesca Camilleri. Athleta were playing with their their latest standard formation. There was a balance between the two teams in the opening session as both of them held the lead twice. The points were shared between a good number of players. Late in the session there were triples at either end with Jean Doughty for Loyola and Leanne Sciberras for Athleta with the latter edging just ahead. In the second quarter the points were not so plentiful. Athleta managed to open up their lead further before Sammy Jo Barbara came up for Loyola with her points in a 7-0 run to grab an advantage. Till the interval there was a 24-24 deadlock. After the break the points tally continued to go down. Loyola fell behind and had to spend the rest of the period chasing after their adversaries. Athleta made up an 8-2 run to increase their lead but Loyola went near once more at 31-34. In the last session Athleta had sciberras with a second trey and they held on ta a useful advantage till late in the match when Loyola made their final efforts. Athleta closed down the encounter with their final points denying Loyola of a closer match finish.
Loyola: 5 J. Doughty, F. Schembri, M. Gatt, 2 D. Said Hollier, 9 R. Spiteri, 6 A. Bonanno, P. Montanaro, 15 SJ Barbara, 4 K. Gouder
Athleta: L. Calleja, 13 L. Sciberras, 8 M. Azzopardi Duca, G. Muscat, 10 D. McKeon, R. Sciberras, 8 F. Farrugia, 11 K. Busuttil, C. Mifsud
Referees: C. Terribile, B. Sly
After all clubs have played 11 matches each, McDonalds Depiro and Luxol lead on 21 points each foloowed by Hibs Medsea on 20. Athleta and Alyssa Ashley Loyola have 16 points each, St Andrew’s 14, Starlites Sports Experience 13 and Guzelpinar Mtarfa 11.