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Louis Borg Cup finals Game two ‘a whole new game’ against Libertas – Tabone

Hibernians and Mellieha Libertas face off in the Louis Borg Cup finals Game Two on Sunday. Photo: Wally Galea

The Louis Borg Cup comes to an end for the 2021-22 season on Sunday with the final game between Hibernians and Mellieha Libertas (tip-off: 15.45), what looks like a mountain to climb for Mellieha after a first leg 104-76 loss to the league’s second seed.

In spite of all this, Hibernians coach Mario Tabone will be wary of the opposition as he believes “they have nothing to lose”.

“We had another training session today so that the last game would be over and done with, so that on Sunday we would be prepared for another game,” Tabone sold the Times of Malta on Saturday.

“They (Mellieha) will go out to win at least this game. They’re capable of beating us because every game is its own story and I think this will be their goal. From our side, we have tried to counter this by meeting up today and we will be going onto the court with that same attitude to win.”

At the other end, Mellieha will be looking for an impressive comeback during the game, as the side is currently down by 28.

“We let the game get out of hand in the last five minutes as otherwise, we were always in the game,” coach Adrian Mifsud told the Times of Malta.

“To turn it around we definitely have to reduce our turnovers as we had a record 25 turnovers in game one. Rebounding and playing more as a team will be key with a great focus on defence.”

Asked about his team’s enthusiasm to try and fight for the comeback, Mifsud explained that overturning the result of the first leg would be a double achievement.

“Being a young team, enthusiasm is never lacking. We will definitely do our best to turn the result in our favour and should we succeed it would be a double achievement – a massive comeback plus the first trophy for Mellieha in the major league.”

Following Sunday’s final comes the business end of the season for both sides that have both made the playoffs, and who also face each other in the Knock-out final at the end of the month.

“The atmosphere (around the club) is good at the moment,” said Tabone, “We had two injuries – Ivan (Demcesen) and Christian (Soderholm) but even though they are still not fully recovered, they’re doing well and we are hoping that next week when we play our last regular-season game, which doesn’t have much value, we can rest them.

“In two weeks, we play the Knock-out final against Mellieha themselves so to keep up concentration while playing the same team for three or more games – we might face them in the semifinals (playoffs) – will be tough.”

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