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Hibernians, Depiro to meet in women’s Knock Out final

Ashleigh van Vliet scored 14 points for Hibernians. Photo: Wally Galea

Hibernians and ARMS Depiro will cross swords in the MAPFRE MSV Life Women Knock-Out final scheduled for the end of March after they had the better of Caffe Moak Luxol and Starlites Naxxar respectively.

Hibs had to dig real deep to overcome Luxol’s efforts as the latter, inspired by a fine offensive showing from the US guard Jenniffer Oramas, produced a positive performance for a large part of the game and also enjoyed the lead for many minutes.

Luxol’s biggest lead was 44-31, three minutes into the second half.

Hibs crept their way back into the game, with Ashleigh van Vliet doing a lot of teamwork chores on the court.

It was still a totally open game right up till three minutes from the end of the game with Luxol having a marginal 63-62 lead. But here, Hibs grabbed the win as they scored a 7-0 run which moved them to the final.

In the other semi-final, ARMS Depiro distanced themselves from Starlites Naxxar in the final quarter when a 10-0 run helped them to open a double-digit lead which the Naxxar side could never recover back.

Good outside shooting from Nicole Agius and under the boards play by Hannah Johnson were instrumental in Depiro’s victory as they also subdued Naxxar Starlites’ efforts.

The latter opted to play Spaniard Patricia Arguello for this match.

This forward was very influential in Starlites’ successes in the previous years but, together with David Baudot who had coached the side, had left back for Spain at the start of this season.

Being on a short trip in Malta, Arguello donned the Starlites’ colours in an attempt to boost the side’s chances of making it to the final.

The lead changed hands a number of times along the match but Depiro had the last laugh as they managed to show the best play in the final quarter which they even won 14-4.

Hibernians       71

Caffe Moak Luxol         67

(16-18, 12-20, 25-15, 18-14)

Hibs: M. Buhagiar 5, E. Farrugia, Y. Bonett 6, A. van Vliet 14, S. Brincat 2, J. Abela 17, C. Camilleri, K. Jenkins 27, N. Farrugia, K. Caruana, J. Dabic, J. Borg Cardona.

Luxol: L. Fenech Pace, S. Pace 11, N. Vella, H. Galea, S. Vella 2, A. Borg 2, P. Ellul 10, J. Diaby 10, S. Bonfiglio, A. Fenech Pace, J. Oramas 32.

Refs: F. Ciurariu, N. Azzopardi, F. Fabok.

Starlites Naxxar          43

ARMS Depiro 59

(10-11, 16-12, 13-22, 4-14)

Starlites: A. Saliba 8, M. Riolo 5, D. Camilleri, S. Farrugia Tabone 2, M. Bonett 2, P. Arguello 10, K. Portelli, M. Fenech 2, C. Vella, S. Davies 4. C. Curmi 10.

Depiro: H. Johnson 20, M. Caruana, Ni. Agius 23, J. Xerri, J. Mallia, L. Duncan 2, No. Agius, C. Ciantar 12, N. Hili, N. Borg, N. Ebejer, D. Galea 2.

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

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