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Starlites join Depiro at the top of Women’s League

Starlites’ Amelia Simmons tries to finish while guarded by Julia Xerri. Photo: Wally Galea

ARMS Depiro 53
Starlites FIJO 78
(8-26.18-24, 9-12, 18-16)

With Caffe Moak Luxol not playing last weekend, Starlites FIJO managed to return to a shared top spot in the standings, with equal games at the end of the league’s second round, after a merited success over ARMS Depiro.

The latter remain in the third spot and will try to defend this play-off qualifying spot from fourth-placed Hibs, presently lying two games behind.

Starlites’ biggest run in the game, 11-0 in three and a half minutes midway in the first quarter, paved the way to a double-digit lead that the Mtarfa side never relinquished. They even increased to a maximum 70-35 advantage late in the game until Depiro managed to somewhat end with a better scoreline with a late run.

A Nicole Agius early trey gave Depiro their only lead in the game with Starlites having Amelia Simmons very active under the opponents’ boards in the first quarter.

The veteran American ended as the most efficient player on the court with 28 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in the game shooting field goals at 81 per cent despite playing just over 22 minutes in the game.

Mikela Riolo had a positive 67 per cent shooting from long range apart from six assists and four steals whilst teammate Christina Curmi also had a good field goal shooting rate in this game.

At the other end, Australian Casey Samuels and Agius both had double-digit scoring, Samuels also having a double-double with 12 boards yet this duo had below 30 per cent shooting.

Starlites gradually started increasing their lead and points off Curmi, halfway in the second quarter, had them comfortably 41-16 ahead.

Depiro did have an and-one play from Julia Borg followed by a Claire Ciantar bucket. Yet Starlites kept the upper hand and a trio of baskets from inside the zone by Simmons and a Riolo three ball helped them to a 50-26 half-time score.

The third quarter was a low-scoring affair and then the final rubber had Starlites notching the first eight points only for Depiro to have a late rally with a 10-4 run which brought them a more respectable end result.

Depiro: N. Agius 13, J. Xerri 2, J. Mallia 2, L. Duncan, C. Ciantar 9, N. Hili 3, C. Samuels 10, J. Borg 5, N. Borg 2, L. Camilleri 2, J. Magri 3, E. Cassar 2.
Starlites: M. Zammit Cordina 1, M. Riolo 12, A. Saliba 4, M. Sciberras, M. Bonett 6, S. DeMartino 9, M. Fenech 2, A. Simmons 28, C. Cilia, K.Mifsud 2, S. Davies 3, C. Curmi 11.
Referees: Z. Dobrosavljevic, I. Simic.

Fusion Quest 33
Hibernians 72
(6-24, 10-17, 6-16, 11-15)

Hibernians had an easy win over newcomers Fusion Quest. The Paolites did not look back after sprinting to a 10-0 lead after less than four minutes of play and then gradually increased the same lead in the rest of the game, even though Fusion did manage to share the spoils in certain instances.

Young centre Julia Dabic used her height effectively underneath the boards and ended with 17 points (eight makes in 12 attempts) and 11 rebounds.

Bench player Kaya Calleja had a fine shooting performance hitting two from two in two-point range and four on seven three-point attempts.

Guard Iona Agius, who played the most minutes for Hibs, had eight assists and five steals apart from a 14-point game. Veteran Samantha Brincat was the best rebounder with 14 boards as well as six assists.

Marija Momcilovic was the most efficient for Fusion with 12 points and seven rebounds whilst Natalija Pejcic and Julie Londono had seven respective points and 11 boards between them.

Yet Fusion need to improve their shooting rate as a whole as they shot with a low 18 per cent in this game and lost the rebound battle 40-66.

After changing ends with the score 41-16, Hibs controlled the tempo and now prepare for the next round where they will try to recover the lost ground they have in the standings behind third-placed Depiro.

Fusion Quest: T. Azzopardi 2, J. Londono 7, M. Momcilovic 12, J. Schembri, M. Stefanovic 2, D. Apostolovska 3, A. Caballero, N. Pejcic 7.
Hibernians: K. Conti 4, I. Agius 14, S. Brincat 3, J. Abela 9, K. Caruana 5, K. Calleja 16, J. Gauci, E. Cassar 4, J. Dabic 17, M. Mendez.
Referees: F. Ciurariu, G. Russo.

Standings
Caffe Moak Luxol /Starlites Fijo (7/1) 15; Arms Depiro (4/4) 12; Hibs (2/6) 10; Fusion Quest (0/8) 8.

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