fbpx
Connect with us

Basketball

Depiro, Starlites face off as Women’s Knockout final four tips off

Starlites' Michela Zammit Cordina (left) tries to get past Depiro's Julia Borg. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Luxol host Fusion in opening semifinal

The MAPFRE MSV Life Women’s Knockout heads into its semifinal stage this weekend with two games on Saturday which will decide this year’s finalists.

The day’s most anticipated matchup will undoubtedly be the clash between Starlites JSD and Depiro.

Both sides have been at the top of their game so far this season, with Starlites leading the women’s league and Depiro all but confirmed into the playoffs with seven games to go.

Under coach Faith Dedelioglu, Starlites aim to keep hold of their league title. However, they will be hoping to go one step further and bag the Knockout as well, a triumph they missed out on last season.

Meanwhile Depiro, under new coach Adrian Baldacchino, have flourished and are currently offering the most dangerous sign of threat towards Starlites and Caffe Moak Luxol who have both dominated the women’s competitions over the past few years.

Last week, Depiro showed their mettle to keep Hibs at bay in the quarterfinals despite a strong showing from Paolites import Lyndsey Whilby who managed 25 points. Baldacchino’s clan were the better side, pushing through the likes of Kristy Galea and Jose Ann Johnson, combined with the industrious Sophie Abela who has been key to handing players like Galea, Johnson and three-point sharpshooter Nicole Agius good looks on offence.

Abela’s defence has proved vital this season and the Mtarfa side will be hoping for a repeat showing from her and fellow co-captain Claire Ciantar, whose grit will be needed against a free-scoring Starlites team full of young drivers like Andie Saliba, Mikela Riolo and Michela Zammit Cordina, who have fit in like a glove with the ever-present Steffi De Martino. All these, coupled with import player Paige Cannon will provide a stunning matchup on Saturday.

Repeat winners?

Last season, both sides were eliminated in the semifinal when Starlites fell to eventual winners Luxol, while Depiro lost out to Hibernians.

This time around, Hibernians’ hopes of another chance at the Knockout title were dashed with a 43-point defeat to the Mtarfa side in the quarterfinal. On the other hand, holders Luxol face a smoother run to the final as they play against league strugglers Fusion Quest in the day’s earlier game.

Luxol have shown no signs of stopping since their John Tabone Shield victory back in October and the side’s third clash with the women’s league minnows will, on paper, appear as a mismatch.

Santino Coppa’s clan have managed to win games while resting the likes of import player Tayler Bennett and Malta international Josephine Diaby, giving space to younger players who will most likely become the future stars of club and country.

Fusion have struggled due to a lack of squad depth. Despite putting up brave showings in their games this season, they have faced an added difficulty when playing against teams like Luxol – while the Violets are stacked with players coming up from the club’s youth ranks, Nemanja Zivkovic has usually relied on close to just the starting five.

MAPFRE MSV LIFE KNOCKOUT SEMIFINALS

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

Caffe Moak Luxol vs Fusion Quest – 15.15

Depiro vs Starlites JSD – 17.15

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

World Cup News

Advertisement

More in Basketball