Depiro opened their semifinal series versus Loyola with victory. Stephanie De Martino (184-F-93) accounted for 28 points to lead Depiro to a 69:50 win. The hosts built a 28:18 halftime lead. Loyola narrowed the deficit in the third quarter. The visitors got within 5 points at the final break. But Depiro unloaded 27 points in the final stanza and sealed the victory for the winners. Samantha Brincat (177-G/F-79) chipped in 10 points for the winning side. Christina Grima (168-PG-89) replied with 15 points for Loyola. Hibs Melita surprised Luxol 65:52 on the road to surge ahead in the series. Lena Gipson (182-F-88, college: Santa Clara) knocked down 20 points to lead the charge. Hibs Melita piled up a 34:27 halftime lead. Luxol cut the distance at 4 points at the final break 44:48. But Hibs Melita went on a 17:8 surge in the fourth period to earn the victory. Elena Cassar (179-G-92) posted 16 points for the winners. Robin Murphy (183-F, college: S.Mississippi) answered with 18 points for Luxol. Sarah Pace (165-G-88) provided 14 points in the loss.
MAPFRE Women League 2017 Finals Series Game 2 Caffe Moak Luxol 45 Gzira Athleta 48 (18-9. 10-14, 13-11, 4-14) Luxol: S. Pace 5, M. Mercieca 4, A. Munir, I. Baena Medina 6, S. DeMartino 20, K. Portelli, C. Sollami, P. Ellul 7, L. Caruana Montaldo, C. Curmi 3 Gzira Athleta: M. Stefanovic, C. Grima 29, B. Zammit, L. Sciberras 4, A. Simmons 6, D. Said Hollier 3, A. Borg 6, J. Schembri, A. Debenay, C. Mifsud Referees: B. Vassallo, J. Mangani, I. Simic The finals series is now tied at 1-1 a... [read more]
MAPFRE Women League 2017 Finals Series Game 2
Caffe Moak Luxol 45 Gzira Athleta 48 (18-9. 10-14, 13-11, 4-14) Luxol: S. Pace 5, M. Mercieca 4, A. Munir, I. Baena Medina 6, S. DeMartino 20, K. Portelli, C. Sollami, P. Ellul 7, L. Caruana Montaldo, C. Curmi 3 Gzira Athleta: M. Stefanovic, C. Grima 29, B. Zammit, L. Sciberras 4, A. Simmons 6, D. Said Hollier 3, A. Borg 6, J. Schembri, A. Debenay, C. Mifsud Referees: B. Vassallo, J. Mangani, I. Simic
The finals series is now tied at 1-1 after this Gzira Athleta's success in game 2.
Gira Athleta produced a stunning late fightback to beat Caffe Moak Luxol and pull level after Game Two of the women's play-off final series.
Caffe Moak Luxol were in front virtually throughout the whole game and looked set to take a two-game lead when they held a 45-37 advantage with only four minutes left. But Gira refused to throw in the towel and produced a match-winning 11-0 run that stunned Santino Coppa 's team.
A Paula Ellul (94) trey set the violets off on a very positive early stretch and subsequent hoops from Stephanie De Martino (184-F-93) put Luxol 17-6 in the lead after just eight minutes and forcing Athleta to call an early time-out.
Luxol's lead extended to a game maximum of 24-9 halfway in the second quarter with Athleta then managing a reaction through seven consecutive points from Christina Grima (175-G/F-89) and free throws from Amelia Simmons (181-F-87, college: Wilmington, DE), the latter incidentally only potting from the charity line in this game although she was instrumental in winning the offensive rebound game for her team as Athleta outnumbered their rivals 19-8 in such rebounds. The two finalists changed ends at 28-23.
The third quarter was a balanced affair with Athleta momentarily coming just a mere basket behind, 30-32, but Luxol, who again had to do without their import player Munir, closed the quarter again on a high note with a 9-4 run for a 41-34 scoreline.
Points were scarce in the first part of the last quarter until a Ina Baena Medina hoop followed by an Ellul transition basket put Luxol 45-37 in front but these resulted to be the only Luxol points in this last quarter.
A Grima trey followed by an and-one play by the same player opened the game wide. With Luxol failing to score, Athleta managed to jump to the lead with a Grima close range hoop in the last minute. Luxol turnover the ball and Grima sealed her team's series equalising win with the game's final points from the free throw line.
Next Games: Game 3: Thursday 27th April 7.30pm Game 4: Saturday 29th April 2.45pm Game 5 (if needed): Monday 1st May 2.45pm
MAPFRE MSV Life Women League Semi-Final Series Game 4 Starlites Naxxar 36 Caffe Moak Luxol 52 (13-13, 14-13, 5-13, 4-13) Starlites: K. Galea, J. Doughty 3, D. Revol, K. Pirotta 6, J. Micallef 6, J. Grima 7, P. Arguello 10, E. Magrin, S. Davis 4, A. Lupo Luxol: S. Pace 16, M. Mercieca 3, A. Munir 6, I. Baena Medina 2, S. DeMartino 25, C. Sollami, P. Ellul, M. Darmanin, C. Curmi Referees: E. Mangani, C. Farrugia, B. Sly Reigning champions Caffe Moak Luxol made their way to the League Fin... [read more]
MAPFRE MSV Life Women League Semi-Final Series Game 4
Starlites Naxxar 36 Caffe Moak Luxol 52 (13-13, 14-13, 5-13, 4-13) Starlites: K. Galea, J. Doughty 3, D. Revol, K. Pirotta 6, J. Micallef 6, J. Grima 7, P. Arguello 10, E. Magrin, S. Davis 4, A. Lupo Luxol: S. Pace 16, M. Mercieca 3, A. Munir 6, I. Baena Medina 2, S. DeMartino 25, C. Sollami, P. Ellul, M. Darmanin, C. Curmi Referees: E. Mangani, C. Farrugia, B. Sly
Reigning champions Caffe Moak Luxol made their way to the League Final Series, where they will meet their rivals Gzira Athleta, after registering the third consecutive win in the semi-final series against Starlites. The latter had opened the series on a positive footing with an overtime win but they could not repeat a similar feat in the next three games.
Game four was practically decided in a ten minute spell in the middle of the second half when Starlites hit a complete dearth of points, whilst also losing their influential leader on the court Patricia Arguello (178-SF-87) through injury, whilst Luxol ascertained the series win with an influential 18-0 run and they then calmly controlled the tempo in the last minutes of the game.
Luxol were quick off the mark in the game with the opening four hoops forcing the Starlites' coach David Baudot to a very early time-out. This one minute break did reap dividends for Starlites as they managed, by the end of the first quarter, to claw back into the game through baskets from Arguello, Kimberly Pirotta (157-SG-98) and Josephine Grima (193-C-84) for a tied score 13-13.
Two Luxol treys from Sarah Pace (165-PG-88) and Stephanie De Martino (184-F-93) respectively set off the second quarter as the violets moved to a 23-15 lead midway in the same quarter.
Once again, Starlites managed to regroup their efforts and a 12-3 run led them to a minimal one point lead in the interval, 27-26 with Luxol having their American import, Attirah Munir, on the bench through injury.
A Jean Doughty three-pointer had Starlites enjoying, momentarily, their maximum lead in the game, 32-20, just three minutes in the third quarter.
Yet they then had to wait ten whole playing minutes to find their way to the opponents' basket whilst also losing Arguello out injured.
On the other hand, Luxol kept marching on and Demartino and Pace spearheaded the game winning 18-0 run as they moved to 48-32 in the lead.
The game now was pratically over and done with as Luxol controlled the proceedings and now will stary eyeing the best of five final series which commences on Thursday 20th April.
MAPFRE MSV League Women Semi-Final Series Game 3 Gzira Athleta 61 Depiro 47 (14-10, 16-11, 17-13, 14-13) Gzira Athleta: M. Stefanovic, C. Grima 22, B. Zammit 6, L. Sciberras 5, A. Simmons 10, D. Said Hollier 16, A. Borg 2, J. Schembri, S. Vella, A. Debenay, C. Mifsud Depiro: A. Mifsud, G. Mifsud 8, M. Balzaraviciute, M. Bonett 7, N. Agius 11, M. Scicluna, C. Schumacher 8, J. Xuereb, T. DeMartino 4, C. Ciantar 9 Referees: E. Mangani, C. Farrugia, I. Simic Gzira Athleta became the first... [read more]
MAPFRE MSV League Women Semi-Final Series Game 3
Gzira Athleta 61 Depiro 47 (14-10, 16-11, 17-13, 14-13) Gzira Athleta: M. Stefanovic, C. Grima 22, B. Zammit 6, L. Sciberras 5, A. Simmons 10, D. Said Hollier 16, A. Borg 2, J. Schembri, S. Vella, A. Debenay, C. Mifsud Depiro: A. Mifsud, G. Mifsud 8, M. Balzaraviciute, M. Bonett 7, N. Agius 11, M. Scicluna, C. Schumacher 8, J. Xuereb, T. DeMartino 4, C. Ciantar 9 Referees: E. Mangani, C. Farrugia, I. Simic
Gzira Athleta became the first women league finalists after making it a 3-0 semi-final series against Depiro, the latter having to do without their influential guard Samantha Brincat, out injured for the third game.
There was a balanced start to the game with Depiro having the first lead 8-4 but Christina Grima (175-G/F-89) then led Athleta to a 14-10 first quarter score.
Free throws from Carlee Schumacher (C) Maria Bonett (174-C-95) and Claire Ciantar (172-C-95) had Depiro maintaining close contact whilst, at the other end, Denise Said Hollier helped Grima with their team's point tally.
The most significant patch in the game came in-between the half time interval, exactly amid the last minute of the first half and the first half of the third quarter. From a tight 23-21 score, Gzira Athleta stormed to a double digit lead with an 18-5 run.
Depiro had to dig deep to keep their hopes alive and they did manage to register a positive reaction with two 8-0 runs and three treys from Nicole Agius (155-PG-98) had them bring down the margin to just five points, 42-47 with five minutes to go.
A time-out halted Depiro's tempo and Gzira Athleta regained their composure with Amelia Simmons (181-F-87, college: Wilmington, DE) scoring a series of free throws to ascertain her team's win and the series.
Caffe Moak Luxol 63 Starlites Naxxar 57 (7-10, 20-24, 10-9, 26-14) Luxol: S. Pace 3, M. Mercieca 15, A. Munir 9, I. Baena Medina, S. DeMartino 19, K. Portelli, C. Sollami, P. Ellul 15, L. Caruana Montaldo, M. Darmanin, C. Curmi 2 Starlites: K. Galea 13, J. Doughty 3, D. Revol, K. Pirotta 3, J. Micallef 2, J. Grima 5, P. Arguello 25, E. Magrin, S. Davis 2, A. Lupo 4 Referees: G. Barbara, E. Mangani, M. Rajczi
Reigning champions Luxol made it back-to-back wins in this semi-final series after that Starlites had won the opening game. Game four will be played this evening and the pressure is now on Starlites as only a win can keep their hopes alive of making it to the final by forcing a decisive fifth game on Saturday.
Starlites had most of the lead in this game but they suffered a point drought in the final four minutes whilst Luxol had a game winning 10-0 run.
The first quarter was quite dry from points with Luxol missing half of their free throws whilst Spaniard Patricia Arguello (178-SF-87) led Starlites to a 10-7 lead, even notching two treys.
Luxol did reply with treys of their own early in the second quarter through Stephanie De Martino (184-F-93), M. Mercieca and Paula Ellul (94) but a Kristy Galea (158-SF-00) three pointer followed by points from Arguello and Josephine Grima (193-C-84) opened a maximum 8-point lead for Starlites. Luxol were the only teamto score in the first four minutes of the second half and managed to tie the score at 34-34 but Starlites' answered back with a 9-1 run.
Further threes from Arguello and Galea respectively had Starlites go 49-42 in the lead with seven minutes to go and looking quite in control whilst also dominating the boards.
However Luxol increased their efforts and managed to overturn the score in their favour with a nine point break coming off Demartino, Attirah Munir (185-G, college: Ark.-Pine Bluff) and another Mercieca trey.
Kim Pirotta replied with a shot from downtown at the other end and a subsequent three point play from Arguello had Starlites enjoying their last lead at 55-53 with four minutes to go.
Here came Luxol's vital game winning 10-0 run whilst they also forced their opponents to commit some crucial turnovers and even closely guarded Starlites' main player Arguello. The latter did stop Luxol's run with a late basket but time was now totally in Luxol's favour as they took the lead, 2-1, for the first time in this series.
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