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Mellieha Libertas sign local duo Bugeja, Bonnici

Former Hibernians shooting guard David Bugeja has joined Mellieha Libertas. Photo: Wally Galea

Malta basketball club Mellieha Libertas will be looking to one-up last season’s successes by adding to their squad Maltese shooting guards David Bugeja and Robert Bonnici, the Times of Malta can confirm.

Libertas have made a statement signing in Malta international Bugeja, who returns to club basketball after a stellar performance for the Malta National Team in the FIBA Small Countries Games this summer. The move was confirmed on Saturday night, according to club sources, ahead of the transfer deadline for homegrown players midnight Monday.

Read: Christian Narciso appointed Mellieha Libertas coach

The shooting guard, who averaged 11 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in the summer tournament, leaves Hibernians to join newly appointed coach Christian Narciso’s side on a one-year contract. He will surely be an added value to the squad which sees the return of Vule Jandric and Nenad Bukva after both being handed a suspension by the club during last season’s playoffs.

Bugeja departs a Hibs side which are currently in unsettled waters ahead of the new season and are yet to confirm their coaching direction as playcaller Mario Tabone serves a season ban from the sport. Tabone led the Paola side to last season’s Louis Borg Cup and Shield titles before a tanking incident during the final minutes of their final regular season game against Depiro BC saw both sides’ coaches penalised, together with three-game bans for a number of players including Keith Dimech, whose loan at the club ended at the end of the season. 

The Mellieha club also agreed on a deal with former Starlites FIJO player Bonnici earlier in July for a two-year contract which means that he will leave the Naxxar club after 14 years to join last season’s Knock-Out winners and runners-up in the BOV Men’s League.

The former Malta player is set to return in November from an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury last year which kept him out of the majority of the 2021-22 season with the league champions.

Vasovic leaves Mellieha

Despite the two new signings, the Times of Malta can also confirm that Serbian player Nick Vasovic has parted ways with the Mellieha club this summer.

While both Jandric and Bukva have resolved internal issues with the club, Vasovic, who missed the final game of the playoffs in a 3-1 series loss to eventual champions Starlites, will not be joining the squad next season with both sides reaching a mutual agreement for the release of the player.

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