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Sixth win in a row for Hibs as Depiro overcome Luxol

Luxol’s Anna Fenech Pace shields the ball from Leanne Duncan. Photo: Wally Galea

STARLITES NAXXAR 47
HIBERNIANS 62

(16-10, 12-20, 12-16, 7-16)

Hibs continued on their league winning streak registering their sixth consecutive success and their league double over Starlites Naxxar after their first round 71-34 win.

On the other hand, Starlites were coming off their first league success, a week earlier, against Luxol and they also had a bright start to this game when they netted the game’s first eight points off treys from Mikela Riolo and Cristina Curmi as well as Maria Bonett hoop.

Hibs finally scored their first basket after four minutes through Kenyotta Jenkins but Starlites maintained the upper edge for a few more minutes to stay 16-7 ahead.

The lead changed hands midway in the second quarter after the Paolites scored a 9-0 run with five points, including a threeball, off Ashleigh van Vliet and a respective bucket from Samantha Brincat and Ylenia Bonett.

The game, however, continued on a balanced note with both sides replying to each other for a tight 30-28 score at the interval with Riolo and Jasmine Abela scoring long-distance shots at both ends.

The Naxxar side once again took the lead when play restarted in the second half and were leading 40-36 in the seventh minute after a Samantha Farrugia Tabone and-one play.

Yet here, Hibs hit back with ten points on the run before the quarter’s final buzzer as Jenkins and van Vliet shared the buckets here.

Slowly, but gradually, Hibs extended their lead to a double-digit level at 56-44 with three minutes till the end of the game.

Andrea Saliba scored a trey for Starlites, but Hibs moved on to make sure of their victory with a concluding 6-0 streak.

STARLITES: A. Saliba 7, M. Riolo 10, S. Farrugia Tabone 3, M. Bonett 8, K. Portelli, M. Fenech 2, C. Vella, S. Wilke, S. Davies 1, C. Curmi 16.
HIBERNIANS: M. Buhagiar 2, E. Farrugia, Y. Bonett 7, A. Van Vliet 19, S. Brincat 5, J. Abela 9, C. Camilleri, K. Jenkins 20, K. Caruana, J. Dabic, J. Borg Cardona.
Referees: N. Azzopardi, F. Ciurariu, i. Ciurariu.

ARMS DEPIRO 58
CAFFE MOAK LUXOL 48

(4-12, 15-7, 17-17, 22-12)

ARMS Depiro leapfrogged over Caffe Moak Luxol into the second spot of the standings after this success which was also a sort of revenge for Luxol’s 76-67 first round win.

The game was practically decided in the middle part of the final quarter when Depiro outscored their opponents 12-0 to open a nine-point margin with only less than two minutes to go and making it impossible for Luxol to recover the lost ground.

The first quarter was quite dry in point notching with Deprio only managing to score one hoop, through Danika Galea in the final minute of the same quarter, after two initial free throws from Julia Xerri a minute earlier.

On the other hand, Luxol were a bit more precise, ending the quarter 12-4 ahead after an initial and-one play from Josephine Diaby and later buckets from Jenniffer Oramas.

The two sides switched their fortunes in the second quarter with Luxol then finding it difficult to score whilst Depiro
improved, mainly through Hannah Johnson, so that the first-half buzzer sounded with the game at par 19-19.

Luxol again regained an early second half lead as Diaby, Sarah Pace and Amanda Mercieca grabbed some hoops but Depiro replied at the latter stages of the third quarter now with Nicole Agius coming in more onto the offensive picture.

With ten minutes to go, the score was yet again tied 36-36.

This parity continued till midway in the last quarter with Luxol just marginally 45-44 ahead after an Oramas conclusion.
Here, Depiro got the win when treys from Agius and Xerri were instrumental to help them to a 12-0 run to suddenly go 56-45 in the lead in the 39th minute of play.

Time was against Luxol at this juncture and Depiro controlled the final actions of the game.

Depiro: H. Johnson 27, M. Caruana, N. Agius 12, J. Xerri 9, J. Mallia, L. Duncan 2, C. Ciantar 1, N. Hili, N. Ebejer, N. Borg, D. Galea 7, A. Mallia.
Luxol: L. Fenech Pace, S. Pace 12, M. Mercieca 7, N. Vella, H. Galea, S. Vella, A. Borg, P. Ellul, J. Diaby 13, S. Bonfiglio, A. Fenech Pace 1, J. Oramas 15.
Referees: Z. Dobrosavljevic, N. Azzopardi, F. Ciurariu.

STANDINGS
Hibs 12, ARMS Depiro 9, Caffe Moak Luxol 8, Starlites Naxxar 7.

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