Caffe Moak Luxol 53
(27-8, 12-16, 17-12, 21-17)
Seven treys in the first quarter and, above all, a quarter-ending 16-0 streak paved the way for a somewhat comprehensive Hibs win in the first game of this best-of-five finals series.
Despite Luxol’s late efforts, the latter’s offensive play was not consistent and Hibs managed to maintain the lead throughout all the encounter.
The game had a balanced start with Palmira Marcal even giving Luxol an early marginal lead.
But then, at the latter stages of the first rubber, following three free throws from Hibs’ centre Kenyotta Jenkins, the Paolites hit their opponents with four consecutive three balls, a brace from Ylenia Bonett and respective long rangers from Asleigh van Vliet and Jasmine Abela for a surprising 27-8 lead after ten minutes.
Caffe Moak Luxol momentarily upped their morale when they netted ten points in a row early in the second quarter to bring the deficit down to single figures, 18-29.
But a few minutes later, two further Abela treys helped Hibs to take again command and went in for the interval enjoying a 39-24 advantage.
With Luxol trying but still not able to find the right consistent rhythm after the break, Hibs had Jenkins more amidst the action under the boards and her points and a Brincat three-pointer had them on a 10-0 mid-third quarter run.
The margin between the two sides was now hovering around 20 points and the last quarter was practically a formality with the two sides now eagerly eyeing game two, to be played this evening.
Luxol face some added pressure but this series could still be an open one given the somewhat unpredictability of the women’s game.
Hibs: E. Farrugia, I. Agius 2, Y. Bonett 13, A. Van Vliet 4, S. Brincat 7, J. Abela 12, C. Camilleri, K. Jenkins 25, N. Farrugia 6, K. Caruana 6, K. Conti, J. Dabic 2.
Luxol: L. Fenech Pace 4, V. Selvaggi, S. Pace 5, A. Mercieca 2, F. Camilleri, H. Galea, P. Marcal 21, A. Borg, P. Ellul 2, Camilleri, J. Diaby 9.
Referees: D. Torok, N. Azzopardi, I. Ciurariu.
Finals Game 3
(30-17, 11-14, 22-10, 25-20)
Hibernians raised the 2022 Under-19 men trophy after a merited victory in game three of the finals series which had set off with a Luxol win in game one and then the Paolites registering back to back wins.
Similar to game two, Hibs managed to shut off Luxol’s outside shooting potential and started distancing themselves after a late 19-5 run, including treys from Neil Cassar and Luca Borg, in the first quarter which ended with a 20-17 scoreline.
Luxol improved in the second quarter and managed to slightly reduce the deficit with Ben Davies notching seven points in the second rubber.
Any thoughts of a Luxol comeback dissipated after the interval when Hibs, led by Matthew Attard, had a ten-point streak and closed the third quarter with a comfortable 63-41 lead.
In the last rubber, Luxol kept on trying to increase their tally as Matthew Sciberras ended as their top scorer.
But Hibs managed to neutralise all this as they maintained their lead with Gabriel Cassar also going over double digits in personal scores.
MBA president Paul Sultana presented the winners’ trophy to the Hibs team after the game.
Hibs: N. Cassar 22, S. Borg 1, D. Brincat, L. Attard, M. Attard 17, L. Borg 23, A. Zelalem 7, S. Simic, M. Riegel, J. Borg 2, V. Kustudvja. G. Cassar 16
Luxol: A. Attard, B. Davies 13, J. Cefai 7, N. Engelbert 4, V. Engin, M. Sciberras 18, A. Trapani 8, B. Debono 2, J. Pace Debono 7, A. Enriquez, M. Vassallo Pulis 2, A. Vella.
Referees: I. Ciurariu, N. Azzopardi, F. Ciurariu.
Finals Game 1
Starlites Mazars 72
(9-21, 27-12, 20-18, 11-21)
A game of different facets ensued in the first final in the Under-16 best-of-three series.
Starlites Mazars took an early lead at 19-7 mainly through Kyle Deguara, JJ Dimech and Kai Fabri. But then Depiro replied strongly in the second quarter and even had the lead at the interval.
For the Mtarfa side, Malcolm Buttigieg Depiro, Luke Attard, Nikol Mifsud and Gilbert Spiteri shared most of the hoops.
Midway in the last quarter, Depiro were enjoying a 67-60 lead but then, from this moment till the final buzzer, Starlites made a game winning run with 12 points on the trot with guard Sebastian Pace well amidst the action.
Game Two will be played this evening with Depiro under pressure to force game three as a Starlites win would land them this year’s category crown.
Depiro: N. Zammit, L. Attard 20, T. Fereday, Q. Agius 3, G. Mifsud, M. Buttigieg Depiro 20, N. Micallef, N. Mifsud 12, A. Vella, G. Spiteri 12, A. Apap Bologna.
Starlites: S. Pace 16, M. Xuereb, A. Barbara, N. Spiteri 6, K. Fabri 18, K. Deguara 7, L. Borg, J. Caruana, A. Cassar, J. Dimech 8, A. Sultana 13, N. Formosa 4.
Referees: Z. Dobrosavljevic, N. Azzopardi.