Game day 3 of the MBA Women Shield led to victories for Hibs and Caffe Moak Luxol respectively as they moved into the top two places in the standings. The same matches will be replayed in the coming weekend when the semi-finals will take place.
Arms Depiro 62
(18-8, 19-16, 35-15, 13-23)
Top of the group, Hibs landed another encouraging display to remain the only unbeaten side in the women’s section so far in this season’s Shield.
The Paolites outscored their opponents in the first three quarters, especially in the third one where they ascertained their win.
Hibs import player Kenyotta Jenkins was dangerous underneath the boards as Depiro were once again without the services of their injured US forward Hannah Johnson.
Jenkins’ offensive ploys added to the various efforts from the locals including the young duo Ylenia Bonett and Jasmine Abela.
The Paolites had the experienced Asleigh van Vliet missing as veteran Samantha Brincat continued to lead her younger team-mates for most of the game under the play-calling of coach Norbert Borg.
Depiro tried to keep up the pace and managed to stay in touch early on in the game with captain Claire Ciantar mostly active under the opponents’ boards.
But a late first-half run followed by a 14-2 streak at the start of the second half, helped Hibs to a commanding 51-26 lead and then had the upper hand till the end of the third rubber.
With the outcome of the game already decided, Depiro managed to register a more respectable scoreline as the young duo Danika Galea and Neve Borg increased their personal tally.
The Mtarfa side have got to up their game if they want to get anything out Sunday’s semi-final against the same Hibs who are passing through a positive moment.
HIBERNIANS: M. Buhagiar 7, I. Agius 4, Y. Bonett 10, S. Brincat 8, B. Agius, J. Abela 14, C. Camilleri 2, J. Dabic 5, E. Farrugia, K. Caruana 4, K. Jenkins 31.
Depiro: M. Caruana 6, N. Agius, J. Xerri 6, L. Duncan 4, T. Mifsud 2, No. Agius, C. Ciantar 18, N. Ebejer, N. Borg 9, D. Galea 17, E. Cassar.
Referees: I. Simic, N. Azzopardi, I. Ciurariu.
Caffe Moak Luxol 68
Starlites Naxxar 47
(20-15, 16-5, 23-10, 9-17)
With the score tied at 20-a-piece early in the second quarter, Caffe Moak Luxol scored 19 consecutive points to open a handsome lead and made a bold move towards the win against Starlites Naxxar, which was further made certain when they registered an 11-0 rally ten minutes later.This was Luxol’s second win on the trot and now will look eagerly to meeting the same opponents in Sunday’s second semi-final. Starlites, who introduced a new foreigner in Simone Wilke who previously played in Holland but had a quiet debut, disappointed in their play and could not gain their footing after falling quite behind their opponents in the interval.
The game seemed to be going at par as both sides replied to one another for the first 12 minutes with ex-Starlites Josephine Diaby registering double figure personal points very early in the game for Luxol.
On the other hand, Starlites had most of their on court players notching separate hoops for 20-20.
US guard Jenniffer Oramas notched a trey and then added further hoops to steer Luxol to a 36-20 advantage at half-time.
Starlites’ reaction did not materialise after the break. On the contrary, it was Luxol who added further to their lead with a seven and 11 point runs to have a clear 61-30 lead nine minutes from time.
The last minutes were a casual affair as Santino Coppa’s girls had the win fimrly in their pockets. Starlites managed to close the game with a 10 point run, with Mikela Riolo reaching her personal double figures, as both teams introduced a number of bench players.
Both sides will cross swords again in Sunday’s semi-final. The question will be whether Luxol reconfirms this win or will Starlites’ find their good form and avenge themselves.
CAFFE MOAK Luxol: L. Fenech Pace, S. Pace 8, M. Mercieca 5, N. Vella 6, F. Camilleri, S. Vella, A. Borg 2, P. Ellul 2, J. Diaby 18, S. Bonfiglio, A. Fenech Pace 4, J. Oramas 23.
Starlites: A. Saliba 6, M. Riolo 10, K. Pirotta, S. Farrugia Tabone 7, M. Bonett 3, J. Micallef, K. Portelli, M. Fenech 9, C. Vella, S. Wilk, K. Mifsud 2, C. Curmi 10.
Referees: I. Simic, Florentina Ciurariu, I. Ciurariu.
Hibernians 6, Caffe Moak Luxol 5, Starlites Naxxar 4, ARMS Depiro 3.