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Luxol cruise past Hibernians as Starlites maintain top spot

Luxol's Gladiana Avila drives towards the hoop against Hibernians. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

HIBERNIANS 65

CAFFE MOAK LUXOL 86               

(20-24, 12-22, 19-23, 14-17)

Caffe MOAK Luxol pushed aside Hibernians as they beat the Paolites 86-65.

The first quarter between the two sides was a balanced affair and there were also some lead changes in these initial ten minutes of play.

After Caffe Moak Luxol’s initial hoop from captain Amanda Mercieca, Hibs enjoyed a momentary lead after back-to-back treys from their veteran duo Samantha Brincat and Ashleigh van Vliet and shortly afterwards buckets from their young duo Julia Dabic and Kristy Caruana kept them slightly ahead at 12-9.

Luxol’s reply was an 8-2 run set off by four points off their top player Mexican Gladiana Avila and followed by hoops from Anna Fenech Pace and Josephine Diaby.

Although the Paolites had long rangers from Carauna and Naomi Farrugia, Luxol still maintained the marginal lead for a 24-20 score at the end of the first rubber.

An early 8-0 run with Avila the protagonist, assisted by Mercieca, helped Luxol to open a double-digit lead and they then sustained the tempo to neutralise Hibs’ seven points from guard Iona Agius and even extend the lead a bit more to a halftime margin of 14 points, 46-32.

When play restarted after the break, Luxol moved to a considerable twenty-plus lead after an 11-2 streak including a brace of hoops from Christina Sollami.

However, Hibs recovered within the scope of this quarter after they netted four three balls that helped them to pip Luxol at 19-17 in these then minutes although Luxol were now clearly banking on their earlier lead and enjoying a quasi 20-point lead with only a quarter to go to the final buzzer.

Play did not alter much in the last rubber with Lisa Fenech Pace taking a bit of the limelight in these final minutes after she managed to net five hoops, for a personal double figure of points, as Luxol strolled to their fourth league win at the end of the first round of play, one game behind leaders Starlites.

Hibs remain at one win and await the arrival of their import player, Kenyotta Jenkins, in the coming weeks. Jenkins featured with the same Paolites in the past season and will add more height under the boards.

HIBERNIANS: E. Farrugia, I. Agius 8, A. Legarra 3, A. Van Vliet 13, S. Brincat 3, J. Abela 7, N. Farrugia 11. K. Caruana 10, K. Conti, K. Calleja 4, J. Gauci, J. Dabic 6

LUXOL: C. Sollami 6, V. Selvaggi, M. Merceica 16, L. Fenech Pace 10, H. Galea, G. Avila 24, K. Portelli, B. Zammit 3, P. Ellul 4, S. Fenech Pace 3, J. Diaby 14, A. Fenech Pace 6

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

STARLITES FIJO 117

FUSION QUEST 40         

(33-6, 24-11, 26-16, 34-7)

League leaders Starlites FIJO did not find much difficulty to get the better of newcomers Fusion Quest in a game that was totally dominated by the Naxxar side who did not let Fusion settle down and repeat their positive showing for most of the part of the previous game against Hibs.

In fact, Starlites did not take long to open a considerable early lead as they raced to a large 33-6 first-quarter score with the tandem Amelia Simmons and Stephanie Demartino combining for 27 of these points.

Fusion’s reaction did not materialise as Starlites continued with their dominance and started the second quarter with a 16-2 streak. The game was clearly decided even if Fusion had their best moments in the third quarter as they had treys from Adriana Caballero, Julia Schembri, Danica Apostolovska, and Natalija Pejcic.

Buoyed by a large lead, Starlites’ coach introduced many of his bench players and each player managed to land a hoop in the game as Starlites also surpassed the century mark and keep their unbeaten run in the league campaign                                     

STARLITES:   M. Riolo 6, A. Saliba 14, M. Sciberras 3, M. Bonett 10,S. DeMartino 34,M. Fenech 6, A. Simmons 28, C. Cilia 7, L. DeMartino 6,  C. Curmi 3

FUSION QUEST: D. Debono , M. Momcilevic , J. Schembri , M. Stefanovic , E. Pace ,Apostolovska , T. Azzopardi Deguara, A. Caballero , N. Pejcic , Z. Milidragovic 

Referees: I. Ciurariu, G. Russo

Standings

Starlites Fijo 10, Caffe Moak Luxol 9, Arms Depiro 6 (one less game), Hibs 6, Fusion Quest 5

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