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Hibs strengthen top spot, Depiro register a double over Starlites

Hibs player Jasmine Abela goes for the basket against Luxol. Photo: Wally Galea

The latest game day from the MAPFRE MSV Life Women League had Hibs consolidating further the top spot in the league standings after their second league success over Caffe Moak Luxol whilst ARMS Depiro joined Luxol in a shared second place in the standings after they also registered a double, in this case over Starlites Naxxar who are now still searching for their first league victory.  

ARMS DEPIRO 54

STARLITES NAXXAR     45                              

(8-9, 13-13, 11-13, 22-10)

A massive 14-0 late run determined the game as ARMS Depiro’s favour took their second win over Starlites Naxxar in the league campaign this season.

The Naxxar side were very much in the game until that juncture but faltered in the final five minutes of the game to remain still searching for their first league win.

Initial points from Cristina Curmi and Stephanie Davies had Starlites open a 7-0 lead after four minutes. Depiro hit back with eight straight points, Hannah Johnson grabbing the team’s first hoop followed by Julia Xerri and Claire Ciantar. The first quarter, however, ended with Kayleigh Portelli helping Starlites to a marginal 9-8 advantage.

The balance between the two sides persisted in the second quarter as the two sides shared a total of 26 points at both ends.

The lead changed hands a couple of times with Depiro having further points from Johnson and Ciantar as well as a Monique Caruana three-ball.

Starlites replied through Maria Bonett, Maria Fenech and Sarah Wilke to go in for the interval break with a marginal 22-21 lead.

A brace of Davies hoops helped the Naxxar side to a six point lead in the middle of the third quarter and although Johnson tried to lead Depiro’s comeback, Starlites still had the upper edge in the next seven minutes of play as they also went to a maximum lead of seven points, 40-33 after points off Andrea Saliba and Wilke.

Two minutes later, Depiro started their game winning streak with a brace of Johnson baskets followed by a Xerri jumper and two Caruana three-balls, a 14-0 run which had Starlites against the ropes with just two minutes left till the final buzzer and the score now 52-42.

There was not enough time for any counter reaction and Depiro controlled the final moments of this encounter.

DEPIRO: H. Johnson 34, M. Caruana 9, N. Agius, J. Xerri 4, J. Mallia, L. Duncan 2, T. Mifsud, No. Agius, C. Ciantar 5, N. Hili, N. Borg, D. Galea.

STARLITES: A. Saliba 8, M. Riolo 2, S. Farrugia Tabone, M. Bonett 3, K. Portelli 6, M. Fenech, C. Vella 2, S. Wilke 6, S. Davies 6, C. Curmi 12.

Referees: F. Ciurariu, N. Azzopardi, I. Ciurariu.

CAFFE MOAK LUXOL   39

HIBERNIANS   54                               

(9-11, 9-15, 5-7, 16-21)

The game between Luxol and leaders Hibernians set off with both sides balancing each other out as Luxol’s Jenniffer Pramas replying to initial Hibs’ hoops from Samantha Brincat and Ylenia Bonett.

Two Josephine Diaby hoops kept Luxol at Hibs’ heels yet Kenyotta Jenkins helped the Paolites to end the first quarter 11-9 ahead after a late and-one play.

A 9-2 second quarter run helped Hibs to open a double-digit lead at 26-15.

With some positive offensive plays at the end of the first half and the start of the third quarter Luxol managed to momentarily bring down the deficit.

But then Luxol dried down almost completely in the last five minutes of the third rubber as Hibs, even if also only grabbing a single hoop in ten minutes, converted half of their ten free throws to stand at 33-23 with one quarter to go.

Luxol’s expected reaction did not materialise, even if Sarah Pace had a trey, as Hibs took full control of the proceedings with an 8-0 run.

That included a brace of hoops from Asleigh van Vliet, which ascertained their victory and thus solidifying their top league placing in the standings.

LUXOL: L. Fenech Pace, S. Pace 10, M. Mercieca 1, N. Vella, H. Galea, S. Vella, A. Borg 1, P. Ellul 2, J. Diaby 10, S. Bonfiglio, A. Fenech Pace 2, J. Oramas 13.

HIBERNIANS: M. Buhagiar 3, I. Agius, Y. Bonett 14, A. Van Vliet 15, S. Brincat 3, J. Abela, C. Camilleri, K. Jenkins 16, N. Farrugia, K. Caruana 3, J. Dabic, J. Borg Cardona.

Referees: Z. Dobrosavljevic, N. Azzopardi, F. Ciurariu.

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