MAPFRE MSV Life Women League
Gzira Athleta 65 Starlites Naxxar 59
(9-11, 12-14, 20-19, 24-15)
Gzira Athleta: M. Stefanovic 6, C. Grima 17, B. Beverlee 6, L. Sciberras 11, A. Simmons 19, D. Said Hollier 4, A. Borg 2, J. Schembri, S. Vella, A. Debenay, C. Mifsud
Starlites: D. Revol , K. Galea 5, J. Doughty 8, S. Farrugia, K. Pirotta 5, J. Micallef 8, J. Grima 11, P. Arguello 19, E. Magrin, S. Davis 3, A. Lupo
Referees: Z. Dobrosavljevic, I. Simic, I. Marjanovic
Both sides were assured of a Play Off place, but the semi final placings were not yet finalised. Gzira Athleta were vying for the top position and Starlites were searching for a third position.
In this game, Gzira Athleta had to chase for practically up to the start of the last quarter. Christina Grima made her entry in the game in the last quarter and her contribution erased Starlites’ then eight point advantage. Thereby Gzira Athleta obtained their victory to overtake Luxol, at the top placing, whilst Starlites had to wait for the Depiro match, after them, to know what play-off position they were going to fill.
After Starlites’ opening two hoops, Athleta made a 7-0 run, with a Leanne Sciberras trey, in their only lead for quite some time. Starlites then put in a 7-2 session ending run, with a Kristy Galea triple, to regain their lead.
In the start of the second period it was Amelia Simmons, with her hoops, who helped Gzira Athleta in their chase to reach their opponents. Patricia Arguello netted a Starlites trey, and although there was a reaction from the Athleta lasses, Starlites held their lead till the interval, when they were 25-21 ahead.
After the break Gzira Athleta put in a better effort, as their triples found their mark. Milica Stefanovic began with two early ones, but Starlites were still making their own points at the other end with Arguello notching six consecutive points, with a triple, and Jean Doughty’s four hoops in this period kept Starlites ahead on a slight 44-41 advantage.
The last quarter had Kim Pirotta also netting a trey for Starlites, as they increased their lead, but Grima went on court, and the game turned around, in favour of Athleta, as she poured in her points, seventeen in all, including two triples.
Starlites still held leads, and were just behind their adversaries, late in the match, but Gzira Athleta pulled through, to record their win, and finish in top position.
Hibernians 65 Depiro 55
(12-16, 18-18, 15-11, 20-10)
Hibs: E. Micallef 3, E. Cassar 9, S. Gambino 12, I. Agius 2, K. Caruana 2, N. Vella, K. Portanier Mifsud 3, N. Farrugia 3, T. Armstead 28, J. Scerri 3
Depiro: A. Mifsud, G. Mifsud 5, M. Balzaraviciute, S. Brincat 16, M. Bonett 13, H. Acreman, N. Agius 4, M. Scicluna, C. Schumacher 10, J. Xuereb, T. DeMartino 4, C. Ciantar 3
Referees: E. Mangani, C. Farrugia, J. Mangani
Starlites’ defeat, in the earlier match, gave Depiro an occasion to leapfrog over them in the table , with a victory over Hibs, in the last match before the Play Offs, but this did not come about, as the Paolites were determined to end their season with a win, despite being left out of the semis.
The last quarter was a disappointing one for Depiro, as they saw Hibs opening up a good advantage, as Trudy Armstead made a good haul of points, in her last match for the Paolites.
As it is Athleta will now meet Depiro, and Luxol face Starlites, in the two semis, in best of five encounters.
Elena Cassar netted a trey for Hibs, and Gaby Mifsud did the same, for Depiro, in a quick start. The lead changed hands twice more, before Depiro came up with 9-2 run, as Samantha Brincat and Maria Bonett netted triples. Hibs pulled back two hoops, to reduce their deficit.
In the next period Hibs went in front, with a Naomi Farrugia trey, but Brincat nailed her second trey. Emma Micallef and Silvia Gambino also made triples for the Paolites, but Carlee Schuhmacher’s hoops kept Depiro in front. Hibs went closer, but were still 30-34 in arrears, at the interval.
After the break Hibs managed to tie the score, but another Brincat 3-pointer had Depiro regaining their advantage. The Paolites made a 9-2 run, with Armstead’s hoops and another Gambino triple, but their lead was short lived, as Depiro levelled the score, at 45-45.
In the last session Depiro were surprised by a gritty Hibs patch, when they registered a game winning 16-2 run, with Armstead’s points and a Kim Portanier Mifsud trey. Brincat and Bonett did again score triples for Depiro, in the remaining time, but by-then they had fallen too far behind, and the Paolites could end their league commitments with a comfortable victory.