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Starlites edge Luxol in women’s league thriller

Starlites Fijo beat Caffe Moak Luxol in women's league match. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Starlites Fijo   71

Caffe Moak Luxol      69   

(16-22, 16-18, 21-6, 18-23)

The weekend’s top women’s game from the MAPFRE MSV Life Women League offered a roller coaster type of contest as it resulted in a very open game which could have gone either way after both sides enjoyed positive and negative patches along the full 40 minutes of regulation time.

Four early Amelia Simmons hoops helped Starlites to a very early 8-4 lead with Luxol also calling their first time out after a few minutes of play.

The game’s first major streak arrived midway in the first quarter when Luxol netted 13 points on the trot to regain the lead, almost up to double figures.

The duo Gladys Avila/ Josephine Diaby made most of the damage under the Starlites’ boards at this juncture.

Further points off Avila, at the start of the second rubber, made it a 27-16 game but here, the tables, somewhat, turned as the Naxxar side showed more determination and consistency and managed to re-open the game.

A Simmons trey followed by a brace of Stephanie Demartino hoops and an Andrea Saliba three-ball, helped Starlites to a positive run as they made it a three-point game, 28-31.

The first half was not over as Avila once again led the Violets’ offence and her late points helped her side to change ends with a sevenpoint buffer, 40-33.

Despite Luxol setting off with four early free throws in the second half, it was Starlites who dominated the third quarter as they set off with a game high 15-0 run to lead by seven points, 53-46.

The two sides battled each other in this last quarter.

Initially, Starlites managed to maintain their lead up to 60-53 after a Demartino trey.

The game again changed lead a few minutes later when Luxol replied with duo Avila/Diaby netting eight consecutive points.

With the game clock ticking away, all was ready for an interesting end.

On three occasions, Luxol managed to reply immediately to a Starlites bucket at the opposite end for 67-66.

Here a Mikela Riolo long-ranger, from the corner and with 33 seconds to go, gave a lot of impetus to Starlites.

Yet Luxol replied through Paula Ellul for a 69-69 at par score with 5 seconds to go.

Following a time-out, Starlites moved the ball up the court and Michela Zammit Cordina’s inbound pass found an unmarked Simmons who netted a right-hand semi-hook from close range with three seconds on the clock.

Luxol’s last ditch attempt from afar through Avila missed the mark and Starlites celebrated this close, hard-fought success.

Starlites: M. Zammit Cordina 4, M. Riolo 5, A. Saliba 14, S. Farrugia Tabone, M. Sciberras, M. Bonett, S. DeMartino 16, M. Fenech, A. Simmons 25, C. Cilia, K. Mifsud, S. Davies, C. Curmi 7.

Luxol: C. Sollami 2, V. Selvaggi, L. Fenech Pace, F. Camilleri, H. Galea, G. Avila 38, K. Portelli, P. Ellul 6, M. Camilleri, J. Diaby 18,  A. Fenech Pace 5.

Referees I. Simic, I. Ciurariu, V. Nikolic.

ARMS Depiro  72

Fusion Quest 29

(24-7,18-6, 13-7, 17-9)

This season’s new squad in the women’s category, namely Fusion Quest, again took the court in the past weekend and faced a more-experienced ARMS Depiro side.

Despite the loss, one has to compliment the Fusion side who are just starting to find their feet in this championship and one augurs, that with further time, practice and game experiences, this side may develop further to add to the much-needed sparring element in the local women’s league.

The game’s first hoop was a three ball from Fusion’s Adriana Caballero. Yet Depiro quickly took command of the game as they proceeded to a 24-7 first-quarter lead.

American Casey Samuels had 14 points, including two treys, in this initial quarter whilst Nicole Agius added a tris of buckets.

Milica Stefanovic and Natalija Pejcic had early second-quarter hoops for Fusion. But the victorious Mtarfa side continued to extend their lead to a hefty 42-13 lead at half-time.

The third quarter was the most balanced even if Depiro were always producing the better ideas and also registered a 10-0 streak.

Fusion came close to reach the 30-point mark near the end of the game whilst, at the opposite end, Samuels continued finding open space to increase her personal point tally.

Depiro: N. Agius 14, J. Xerri 6, A. Mallia, J. Mallia, L. Duncan 6, N. Hili, C. Samuels 33,  J. Borg 4 , M. Micallef, C. Fenech, L. Camilleri 2, J. Magri 4, E. Cassar 3.

Fusion: D. Debono, M. Momcilevic 2, Z. Milidragovicz 4. M. Stefanovic 9, D, Apostolovska, E. Amorin, A. Caballero 7, N. Pejcic 7.

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

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