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Depiro boost play-off hopes with Hibernians win

ARMS Depiro’s Casey Samuels (left) is challenged by Elena Cassar. Photo: Wally Galea

Hibernians 72
Arms Depiro 77
(13-21, 17-23, 20-11, 22-22 )

This important match concerning the third and final spot in the play-offs resulted in a Depiro win. This result now gives the Mtarfa girls a considerable advantage in the play-off race with the same Paolites.

Depiro set off on a high note potting five treys in the first part of the initial quarter. In fact, a poker of long-rangers from Aussie Casey Samuels and another trey from Nicole Agius moved the Mtarfa side to an early 15-6 lead.

Hibs did hit back through their experienced Samantha Brincat but a late three ball from Julia Borg helped Depiro to close off the first rubber enjoying an eight-point buffer, 21-13.

The gap between the two sides significantly increased in the first part of the second quarter as an 18-4 Depiro streak had the victors opening up a quasi 20-point lead at 40-21 with Julia Xerri and Neve Borg adding also to Depiro’s hoops tally.

A tris of buckets from Elena Cassar and Iona Agius upped a bit Hibs’ morale but it was still a double-digit lead for Depiro at the interval.

This margin remained constant till midway into the third quarter as Samuels continued grabbing a series of points for Depiro.

However, the game reopened completely when Hibs, once again without their veteran Ashleigh van Vliet, made a notable mini-comeback with treys from Brincat and Jasmine Abela and a brace of Julia Dabic close-range hoops which made it a five-point game, 55-50, with the last quarter still to play.

Although Depiro, momentarily, opened a double-digit lead after an Agius three ball, Hibs still managed to claw back once again and a Brincat and-one play had the two sides at 62-58.

It was then tit-for-tat for the next three minutes with each side replying to each other until Depiro had a five point run, through Agius and Xerri, to re-open a double digit 73-62 lead but now with only a few ticks away from the final buzzer.

Hibs tried their best to make another comeback but time was not on their side as Depiro savoured their fourth league win which was a very solid step towards qualifying for the post-regular season play-offs.

Hibernians: E. Farrugia, I. Agius 11, S. Brincat 18, J. Abela 14, K. Caruana 6, K. Calleja, J. Gauci, E. Cassar 11, J. Dabic 12, M. Mendez.
Depiro: N. Agius 15, J. Xerri 8, J. Mallia, L. Duncan 2, C. Ciantar 5, C. Samuels 35, J. Borg 7, N. Borg 5, L. Camilleri, J. Magri.
Referees: G. Russo, B.Mrkojevic.

Caffe Moak Luxol 61
Fusion Quest 43
(19-4, 14-12, 16-14, 12-13)

League leaders Caffe Moak Luxol registered another win over newcomers Fusion Quest.

The latter managed to share the spoils in the second part of the game. Luxol gave ample playing time to most of their bench players in the second half after they had already opened a comfortable lead by the half-time interval.

In fact, Luxol raced to an early double digit lead with Mexican Gladiana Avila getting most of the hoops assisted by Kayleigh Portelli and Paula Ellul and then had an 11-0 run in the second quarter, with Anna Fenech Pace getting a
series of points.

Play was more balanced in the second part of the encounter with Fusion also managing to increase their score tally.

Milica Stefanovic and Milica Pejcic closed with personal double figures as the team continued to show some improvements in their showings in this first season in this category.

Luxol: C. Sollami 7, M. Mercieca 6, F. Camilleri 4, H. Galea, G. Avila 12, K. Portelli 5, B. Zammit, P. Ellul 7, S. Fenech Pace 4, M. Marmara, A. Fenech Pace 16.
Fusion: J. Londono 2, D. Debono, M. Momcilevic 4, J. Schembri 8, M. Stefanovic 13, D. Apostolovska, T. Azzopardi Deguara 4, A. Caballero 2, N. Pejcic 10.
Referees: G. Russo, F. Fabok.

Standings
Caffe Moak Luxol (7/1) 15, Starlites Fijo (6/1) 13, Arms Depiro (4/3) 11, Hibernians (1/6) 8, Fusion Quest (0/7) 7.

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