Caffe Moak Luxol 57
(21-13, 13-21, 12-13, 3-10 – game ended in the 33rd minute)
Hibernians and Caffe Moak Luxol had already met seven days earlier in the Super Cup final where Luxol registered quite a comfortable win. Yet this was surely not the case this time around in the opening game of the Women MBA Shield as Hibs gave a totally different performance and were very well in the game, even leading for a considerable amount of time.
It was only a 10-0 streak early in the final quarter that spearheaded Luxol to a win based also on the 55-point win format being adopted in the women’s MBA Shield this season.
Five early three balls catapulted Hibs to a 21-7 lead with Luxol also having to call an early timeout to try to limit this initial damage. Ashleigh van Vliet and Kristy Caruana banged in these long rangers.
A trey from Cristina Sollami and points off Mexican guard Gladys Avila made it an eight-point game, 13-21, at the end of the first quarter.
The Paolites still maintained their lead for most of the second quarter as they also had offensive contributions from Iona Agius and Kelly Conti.
Late in the first half, Luxol had an 8-1 run, with baskets also from Lisa Fenech Pace and Josephine Diaby, which brought the teams to par, 34-34, at the interval.
The lead changed hands five times in the third quarter as both sides started replying to each other. It was a late Lisa Fenech Pace bucket which helped Luxol jump again in front, 47-46, at the buzzer ending the third rubber.
Hibs had an initial trey from Jasmine Abela in the fourth quarter, but this resulted in their last basket of the game.
Luxol hit back with ten back-to-back points through Avila and Sollami who ended with personal double figures, similar to Lisa Fenech Pace who netted the final basket, a three-pointer, to move Luxol above the 55-point threshold.
Thus, based on the adapted format used locally this year in the Shield, closed the game despite there being more
than seven minutes on the clock.
Hibs: E. Farrugia, I. Agius 9, A. Legarra, A. Van Vliet 17, J. Abela 6, C. Camilleri, K. Caruana 13, K. Conti 3, K. Calleja, J. Gauci, J. Dabic 1, M. Mendez.
Luxol: C. Sollami 13, V. Selvaggi, M. Mercieca 2, L. Fenech Pace 14, F. Camilleri, H. Galea, G. Avila 19, K. Portelli, P. Ellul 2, M. Camilleri, J. Diaby 7, A. Fenech Pace.
Referees: Z. Dobrosavljevic, I. Simic, I. Ciurariu.
Starlites too strong for Fusion in league opener
Fusion Meridianbet 33
Starlites Fijo 84
(13-18, 2-27, 9-25, 9-14)
The new outfit Fusion Meridianbet made their first appearance for the season in the women’s league.
This team has wide Serbian roots and one has to give merit to them and the club officials for taking such a plunge into the local women’s basketball environment.
Fusion had an encouraging start as they shared the spoils in the first quarter and stood at 13-14 late in the same quarter as they had Milica Stefanovic and Natalija Pejcic sharing five hoops between them.
However, from this juncture up to the next nine minutes of play, Starlites took full command of the contest as they netted a 28-0 streak with almost all the players entering the playing court giving some form of offensive contribution.
The trend continued in the second half with Fusion finding it hard to maintain the tempo and pace but always kept on fighting within their limits.
No doubt this team will surely grow in the coming weeks as they will play more games and gain more experience.
Starlites, who adopted quite a wide rotation of players during the game, had four players ending with double figures with the returning US import Amelia Simmons, who has played many seasons in Malta albeit with different clubs, finishing with 17 personal points.
Fusion: V. Janicijevic, D. Debono, M. Momciljevic 5, M. Stefanovic 10, D. Apostolovska, E.M. Amorin 2, A. Caballero 2, J. Simic 4, N. Pejcic 10.
Starlites: M. Zammit Cordina 11, M. Riolo 7, A. Saliba 5, S. Farrugia Tabone, M. Bonett 8, S. DeMartino 14, M. Fenech 1, A. Simmons 17, C. Cilia 5, K. Mifsud 2, S. Davies 4, C. Curmi 10.
Referees: D. Torok, N. Azzopardi, G. Russo.
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