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Luxol overcome Depiro’s challenge to top women’s league

ARMS DEPIRO              51 

CAFFE MOAK LUXOL    58                    

(24-18, 5-17, 10-13, 12-10)

Caffe Moak Luxol obtained their sixth league victory after overcoming a very sprightly Depiro start to the game.

A 17-4 streak between halves proved fruitful for Santino Coppa’s girls to open a double-digit lead which was then maintained right up to the final buzzer.

Gladiana Avila and Paula Ellul set the game going with Luxol’s first points. But Depiro, through Aussie Casey Samuels and Julia Xerri, managed to take the lead and, shortly afterwards, treys from Nicole Agius helped the Mtarfa side to move 18-11 ahead.

Avila did try to encourage her Luxol team-mates with six consecutive points but late first quarter three balls from Samuels had the two sides close off the first of four quarters at 24-18.

Parity was consistent for the most part in the second quarter as the two teams replied continuously to each other for a tight 29-27 Depiro lead.

Here, Luxol managed to have a lead change as they outscored their opponents 8-0 till the half-time buzzer and then, after the interval, continued on a positive note with nine consecutive points after the second half’s initial hoop at the other end from Claire Ciantar.

Thus, Luxol moved from an earlier two-point deficit to a third quarter 44-31 lead. Avila was always the go-to girl for them but the Violets had hoops from Josephine Diaby and Sarah Fenech Pace who shared 20 points between them at the end.

The game was somewhat again close early in the final quarter after Julia Xerri’s energetic plays helped Depiro to reduce the gap to 45-50.

But Luxol stood their ground, thwarted Depiro’s attempts and did not let go of their lead to move to the top of the league standings.

Depiro: N. Agius 6, J. Xerri 11, J. Mallia, L. Duncan 4, C. Ciantar 9, N. Hili, C. Samuels 19, M. Micallef 2, C. Fenech, L. Camilleri, J. Magri, E. Cassar.

Luxol: C. Sollami 2, L. Fenech Pace 4, F. Camilleri, H. Galea, G. Avila 23, K. Portelli, B. Zammit, P. Ellul 7, M. Camilleri, S. Fenech Pace 10, J. Diaby 10, A. Fenech Pace 2.   

Referees: D. Torok, F. Fabok.

STARLITES FIJO             91

HIBERNIANS   56         

(15-21, 20-11, 20-15, 36-9)

Starlites Fijo joined Caffe Moak Luxol at the top of the standings with six wins out of seven games after what resulted in a big win over Hibs.

The Paolites plummeted heavily in the final quarter after they had somewhat shared the spoils in the earlier 30 minutes of play.

However, two considerable runs of 16 and 20 points without any reply propelled Starlites to a large winning margin as Hibs committed a number of turnovers and also erratic shooting which kept them away from a possibility of registering their second win in the league campaign.

They did, however, have an encouraging start after treys from Samantha Brincat and Kirsty Caruana led them to a marginal early lead despite Starlites’ initial long-rangers by their top point getter on the day, Stephanie Demartino who ended taking a lot of responsibility given also that import player Amelia Simmons, although suited for the game, did not participate on the court.

At Hibs’ end, Ashleigh van Vliet was not available for the game.

A late first quarter rally, with seven straight points from Iona Agius and Kaya Calleja, moved the Paolites to a 21-15 lead at the end of the first rubber.

Their winning margin increased to a maximum of seven points, 27-20, in the early stages of the second quarter.

But the Naxxar side replied with a 15-3 run to overturn the score in their favour after positive conclusions from Mikela Riolo and Andrea Saliba.

The half-time buzzer had the two sides separated by just three points, 35-32 and when play restarted, after the change of ends, there was quite some parity on the court with Starlites managing to slightly increase their lead by the end of the third quarter, 55-47.

Few, of this present for the game, expected that Starlites were to dominate the last ten minutes of play to the tune of 36-9.

Demartino banged in four treys in this quarter whilst Michela Zammit Cordina added a tris of hoops as other of her co-players also shared in the two big runs Starlites registered.

Starlites: M. Zammit Cordina 9, M. Riolo 12, A. Saliba 10, M. Sciberras, M. Bonett 6, S. DeMartino 36, M. Fenech, A. Simmons, C. Cilia 4, L. DeMartino 2, S. Davies 2, C. Curmi 10.

Hibs: E. Farrugia, K. Conti, I. Agius 13, A. Legarra, S. Brincat 13, J. Abela 9, K. Caruana 12, K. Calleja 6, E. Cassar, J. Dabic 3. 

Referees: Z. Dobrosavljevic, I. Ciurariu.

Standings: Caffe Moak Luxol, Starlites Fijo (6/1) 13; Arms Depiro (3/3) 9; Hibs (1/5) 7; Fusion Quest (0/6) 6.

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