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Luxol beat Starlites to take sole leadership of women’s league

Depiro’s Julia Borg goes for the basket against Fusion Quest. Photo: Wally Galea

Starlites Fijo 59
Caffe Moak Luxol 65
(12-14, 17-16, 8-16, 22-19)

This was a clash between the two sides at the top of the standings and whose outcome was to determine who will take sole leadership after game day 9.

Finally, it was Luxol who emerged winners and now look well poised to have a better chance to win the regular season and notch a direct route to the playoffs finals.

This was a game of different facets with Luxol taking command of the initial quarter, also opening a momentary double-digit lead. But then Starlites gradually neutralised their deficit and even managed to open a maximum five-point lead midway through the second quarter.

Luxol recovered a bit and managed to go in for the interval enjoying a slender one-point lead. This marginal buffer was ever-present for the good part of the third quarter until a late Luxol eight-point streak helped to a 46-37 lead with one quarter to go.

The Violets kept their rhythm for the first part of the final rubber as they outscored their opponents and increased their lead to 16 points, 59-43.

The Naxxar side amassed their efforts for one last onslaught and they managed a 16-4 run but time was in Luxol’s favour as the latter ascertained their win with very late free throws.

Gladiana Avila and Josephine Diaby were ever-present on the court for the now solitary league leaders with Avila almost registering a triple-triple as she closed the game with 44% shooting and 30 points and three on seven three-point attempts as well as 14 rebounds and 9 assists and three steals for an overall 31 efficiency ratio.

Diaby added 16 points at 50% accuracy, the same shooting percentage as her two colleagues Lisa Fenech Pace and Mandy Mercieca who shared 15 points between them. Cristina Sollami topped Luxol’s list of steals with five in the game.

At the other end, Stephanie Demartino had a 20-efficiency rating landing 17 points at 35% shooting and 14 rebounds as well as a nice tally of six steals although seven turnovers could have been handled better.

Amelia Simmons was active close to the basket with 25 points with three on five three-point attempts, six boards and two assists.

Guard Mikela Riolo had four assists and three steals but turned the ball six times in her seven points and seven rebounds game.

Starlites FIJO: M. Zammit Cordina 2, M. Riolo 7, A. Saliba 4, M. Sciberras, M. Bonett 2, S. DeMartino 17, M. Fenech, A. Simmons 25, C. Cilia, L. DeMartino, S. Davies, C. Curmi 2.
Caffe Moak Luxol: C. Sollami 2, V. Selvaggi, M. Mercieca 7, L. Fenech Pace 8, H. Galea, G. Avila 30, K. Portelli, B. Zammit, M. Camilleri, S. Fenech Pace, J. Diaby 16, A. Fenech Pace 2.
Referees: N. Azzopardi, F. Ciurariu.

Arms Depiro 91
Fusion Quest 31
(24-7, 14-13, 21-5, 32-6)

Arms Depiro notched an easy win over a Fusion Quest side that tried its best to limit the damage yet even had some fine spurts in the game.

The Mtarfa side opened an early double-digit lead which they gradually extended.

Fusion’s best moments came in the second quarter when they shared the points with Depiro. Yet the latter were totally superior in the second half as they clearly outscored their opponents.

Each Depiro player in the squad managed to net some points in the game and each played more than 10 minutes.

Neve Borg had the most playing time at 32 minutes and she converted them into 17 personal points and eight steals. Aussie Casey Samuels and Noeleen Agius shared 30 points. Julia Borg had six assists and six steals as the whole team shot at 47%.

Fusion were almost at par with their opponents in the rebounds game (40-47) with Fanni Fabok having a double-double with 11 boards and 15 points shooting at 43% accuracy similar to team-mate and captain Natalija Pejcic who ended with 10 points.

Turnovers were Fusion’s downfall as they committed a big amount of 45 against Depiro’s 16.

ARMS Depiro: N. Agius 8, J. Mallia 2, L. Duncan 4, No. Agius 15, N. Hili 2, C. Samuels 15, J. Borg 10, M. Micallef 4, N. Borg 17, L. Camilleri 8, E. Cassar 6
Fusion Quest: T. Azzopardi, D. Debono, M. Momcilevic 2, E. Pace, A. Caballero 4, F. Fabok 15, N. Pejcic 10
Referees: B. Mrkojevic, G. Russo

Caffe Moak Luxol (8/1) 17; Starlites Fijo (7/2) 16; Arms Depiro (5/4) 14; Hibernians (2/6) 10; Fusion Quest (0/9) 9.

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