Starlites to face Luxol in semi-final series
The final game day in the MAPFRE MSV Life Women League regular season determined the outright top spot in the standings.
Hibs and Starlites Naxxar faced each other in the last game of this league phase and it was the Paolites who notched the victory and even an automatic passage to the Final Series, on a best of five matches format.
In the other match, Caffe Moak Luxol strengthened their grip on third spot in the standings and will now face Starlites Naxxar in the best of three semi-final series, starting on Sunday.
The Violets registered a comfortable win over ARMS Depiro with the latter now eyeing their final appearance this season which happens to be a major final, the KO final against Hibs to be played at 1.30pm on Thursday afternoon in Ta’ Qali.
Starlites Naxxar 59
(10-20, 15-15, 12-13, 22-26)
A 12-0 run in between the end of the first quarter and the start of the second paved the way for Hibs eleventh league success.
The game had set off on a balanced note with a brace of Amelia Simmons hoops giving Starlites an early lead only for Hibs to reply shortly afterwards with a trey from Ashleigh van Vliet and a Kenyotta Jenkins close ranger.
In the next five minutes, Hibs moved to a 24-10 lead as Jenkins and Ylenia Bonett grabbed a number of baskets.
Michela Zammit Cordina managed to stop Starlites’ momentary point-drought followed shortly by Maria Bonett. But Hibs managed to control the tempo till the interval where they were holding a double digit 35-25 advantage.
A 7-0 streak again extended Hibs’ lead early in the second half and although Starlites were pushing for a reaction, the double digit margin between both sides was still evident as the ball was passed to start the final quarter.
Here, three Julia Dabic hoops helped Hibs to maintain their lead as they managed to
control all the efforts put forth by Starlites till the final buzzer.
Starlites: M. Zammit Cordina 9, M. Riolo 12, A. Saliba 1, M. Bonett 13, K. Portelli 1, A. Simmons 21, M. Fenech, S. Davies, C. Curmi 2.
Hibs: K. Conti, I. Agius, Y. Bonett 12, A. Van Vliet 19, J. Abela 6, K. Jenkins 22, N. Farrugia, K. Caruana 9, K. Fenech, J. Dabic 6.
Refs: Z. Dobrosavljevic, F. Ciurariu, I. Ciurariu.
ARMS Depiro 38
Caffe Moak Luxol 68
(7-18, 5-11, 13-22, 13-17)
ARMS Depiro had an encouraging start to the game when they neutralised Sarah Pace’s opening trey for Luxol as the Mtarfa side had an early 7-0 run with a Kelly Koshuta three pointer sandwiched by hoops from Neve Borg and Claire Ciantar.
The latter, however, resulted to be Depiro’s last basket for the next 16 minutes as they could not find the right way to the opposing basket.
Luxol raced fully ahead in this long period with a big 24-0 run including long-distance shots from Palmira Marcal, Josephine Diaby and Paula Ellul as well as points off young Lisa Fenech Pace.
Nicole Agius finally potted Depiro’s first hoop after 16 minutes of drought and it was then a 29-12 game at the interval.
If one was maybe expecting Depiro to claw back into the game, and they did have a better showing at the start of the second half, this was shortlived as Luxol closed the third rubber with eleven consecutive points to go 48-22 ahead.
The last quarter was a formality with both sides sharing the spoils.
Depiro: M. Caruana, N. Agius 7, J. Xerri, A. Mallia, J. Mallia, No. Agius 3, C. Ciantar 9, N. Hili 2, N. Ebejer 2, N. Borg 8, C. Fenech, K. Koshuta 7.
Luxol: L. Fenech Pace 8, V. Selvaggi, S. Pace 12, H. Galea, P. Marcal 20, A. Borg, P. Ellul 5, M. Camilleri, J. Diaby 23.
Referees:Z. Dobrosavljevic, N. Azzopardi, F. Fabok.
Hibs (11/7) 29; Starlites Naxxar (10/8) 28; Caffe Moak Luxol (9/9) 27; ARMS Depiro 6/12 (24)
Semi Final Play-Off Series (best of three games)
Starlites vs Caffe Moak Luxol