The 2012-2013 Women's St James Hospital League season is fast approaching upon us. The 2012-2013 season will start off this weekend 29 September 2012 with the St James Hospital Preseason Tournament which will be held at University Gym due to the damage at Ta Qali Basketball Complex. The St. James Hospital Preseason Tournament will start with the Women's League Defending Champions Luxol v Alyssa Ashley LBC 0800 29 September 2012 and will wrap up with the Championship game 30 September 2012 @ 1830. The tournament will allow the fans to see the new imports brought in by each club that has been reported except for Phoenix whom will be without their import whom will report 1 November 2012 as well as the clubs newly acquired transferred players. This preseason tournament will allow fans to see what each of their clubs will have to offer for the rest of the season.
Depiro- Has been very busy during the off season bringing in a very talented import Latisha Belcher 6'2" PF/C whom played her college basketball in the United States at East Tennessee University (NCAA 1) where she was named the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year. Depiro really strengthen their roster by going out an obtaining some transfers from their rivals such Shooting Guard Beverly Zammit whom was with the defending champions Luxol last season as well as Emma Moore whom spent the 2011-2012 Season with Loyola. Depiro from all reports have gained the most in the off season and may end up being the favorites to win the league championship but time will tell.
Luxol- The defending champions can not be over looked as they have went out and signed a very good import as well Mollie Williams 6'2 F University of Washington (NCAA 1) to boaster their roster for the 2012-2013 season along with their talented Maltese players. Williams is a very versatile Forward that can be a force inside as well as step out and shoot the ball from the three. The defending champions will be looking to 3 peat as the Maltese League Champions in 2013.
Loyola- will be looking to make a run back to the Maltese League Championship game after losing in a deciding 5th game in the last moments to the defending champions Luxol. Loyola went out and acquired a sharp shooting guard Brietta Thomas 511 La Tech (NCAA 1). Thomas comes to Loyola with high praise from her former Coach WNBA Legend and Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Teressa Weatherspoon. Loyola added the talented Thomas to their roster after Christina Grima whom signed to play this season in Italy from reports as well as the loss of Abigail Sciberra whom decided to go study abroad.
Phoenix- Has went out and probably made the biggest splash with adding American to their roster for the 2012-2013 season. Phoenix added Brittaney Thomas a 5'9 guard out of University Pittsburgh (NCAA 1) where in her final season Thomas avg 15ppg in the toughest college basketball conference in the United States. Brittaney played this past season in the WBCBL where she led the nation in scoring at over 24ppg. Phoenix also strengthen their roster with adding Alexis Darmanin from Hibs. Phoenix may be the most improved team within the league after finishing at the bottom of the standings last season with the addition of Brittaney Thomas they could contend for a playoff spot.
Hibs- Hibs has not reported to our sources that they have signed an import player for the 2012-2013 season as of yet. Hibs is looking to improve on their semifinals appearance after finishing 4th in the regular season. Hibs had a very successful season in 2011-2012 after winning both the Maltese Cup and BOV Knock-Out Cup. This may be a tough task t repeat if they decide not to bring a import player in even with their talented Maltese players.
Athleta- is looking to make a playoff run after just missing out on the playoffs after finishing in 5th place during the regular season and only one game behind Hibs for the final playoff push. No reports have been reported to Athleta bringing a import in for the upcoming season as of yet to our sources. Athleta may not have reported an addition of an import but sources are telling us they have added transfers Edwina Vella from Deprio, Justine Xuereb from Depiro, and Marie Claire Cilia from Starlites for the the 2012-2013 season
Starlite- is looking to improve on their 6th place finish from the 2011-2012, this may be a struggle they have not reported to our sources any signings of imports nor any transfers at this time such as the other teams have. All the teams above Starlite has improved their rosters and so has Phoenix whom is the only team to finish below Starlite in the 2011-2012 season with the signing of their star import Brittaney Thomas.
Starlites Naxxar 51 Hibernians 47 (9-12, 14-15, 9-11, 19-9) Starlites: D. Agius 4, K. Galea 9, J. Doughty, S. Farrugia 6, J. Micallef, J. Grima 13, P. Arguello 5, S. Davies 2, A. Lupo 12 Hibs:, I. Agius, E. Cassar 6, S. Gambino 9, K. Caruana, M. Said 9, A. Marinkovic 4, K. Portanier Mifsud, N. Farrugia, T. Armstead 15, N. Vella, J. Scerri 4 Referees: E. Mangani, B. Sly, Z. Dobrosavljevic Caffe Moak Luxol 64 Gzira Athleta 59 (23-19, 9-10, 19-17, 13-13) Luxol: S. Pace 7, A. Munir 13, I.... [read more]
Starlites Naxxar 51 Hibernians 47 (9-12, 14-15, 9-11, 19-9) Starlites: D. Agius 4, K. Galea 9, J. Doughty, S. Farrugia 6, J. Micallef, J. Grima 13, P. Arguello 5, S. Davies 2, A. Lupo 12 Hibs:, I. Agius, E. Cassar 6, S. Gambino 9, K. Caruana, M. Said 9, A. Marinkovic 4, K. Portanier Mifsud, N. Farrugia, T. Armstead 15, N. Vella, J. Scerri 4 Referees: E. Mangani, B. Sly, Z. Dobrosavljevic
Caffe Moak Luxol 64 Gzira Athleta 59 (23-19, 9-10, 19-17, 13-13) Luxol: S. Pace 7, A. Munir 13, I. Baena Medina 10, N. Vella, S. DeMartino 31, K. Calleja, A. Calleja, L. Caruana Montaldo, M. Darmanin 2, C. Curmi 1 Gzira Athleta: M. Stefanovic, C. Grima 17, S. Pisani, L. Sciberras 2, A. Simmons 32, D. Said Hollier 2, J. Schembri, S. Vella 6, B. Zammit, C. Mifsud Referees: S. Micallef, C. Farrugia, Z. Dobrosavljevic
The women league had another two close games as Caffe Moak Luxol gave Gzira Athleta their first league defeat to join them at the top spot in the standings, although Starlites, following their victory over Hibs, have the better game win percentage at the moment as they have a game less and are only a point under the leaders. Luxol paraded their new coach, the veteran Italian Santino Coppa and enjoyed the lead for a good part of the game led by the on form Stef Demartino. Offensively led by Amelia Simmons (181-F-87, college: Wilmington, DE) and Christina Grima, Gzira Athleta tried their best to take the upper hand and they managed to come to within just one point, 59-60, in the last minute but they had Grima irrationally committing a technical foul and Luxol benefited in the dying seconds to ascertain their win with four free throws from seven. In the other game, Starlites produced a superior final quarter showing and managed to overturn a 6-point deficit after a 12-2 run making use of a pressing defence. A time-out helped Hibs regain some confidence and they managed to close off the gap to just a solitary point, 47-48, but a Samantha Farrugia shot from downtown in the dying seconds made Starlites' second league win certain.
Game reports by Bernard Vassallo St. James Hospital Knock Out Women - Semi Finals Depiro 43 Caffe Moak Luxol 49 (10-8, 9-13, 6-13, 18-15) Depiro: A. Mifsud , G. Mifsud 8, M. Balzaraviciute, S. Brincat12, M. Bonett, C. Camilleri, N. Agius 7, M. Scicluna , C. Schumacher 2, H. Acreman, T. DeMartino 10, C. Ciantar 2 Luxol: S. Pace 7, B. Zammit 10, A. Munir 8, I. Baena Medina 3, N. Vella , S. DeMartino 16, A. Calleja, M. Caruana , M. Darmanin 2, C. Curmi 3 Referees: B. Sly, C. Farrugia Dep... [read more]
Game reports by Bernard Vassallo
St. James Hospital Knock Out Women - Semi Finals
Depiro 43 Caffe Moak Luxol 49 (10-8, 9-13, 6-13, 18-15) Depiro: A. Mifsud , G. Mifsud 8, M. Balzaraviciute, S. Brincat12, M. Bonett, C. Camilleri, N. Agius 7, M. Scicluna , C. Schumacher 2, H. Acreman, T. DeMartino 10, C. Ciantar 2 Luxol: S. Pace 7, B. Zammit 10, A. Munir 8, I. Baena Medina 3, N. Vella , S. DeMartino 16, A. Calleja, M. Caruana , M. Darmanin 2, C. Curmi 3 Referees: B. Sly, C. Farrugia
Depiro had a 14-0 run in between the first and second quarter to go 17-8 ahead with Gabriella Mifsud, Martina Demartino and Samantha Brincat notching most of the points but Luxol, with Stef Demartino the main point grabber, reacted strongly and managed to close off the first half 21-19 in the lead.
With Depiro finding it hard to score baskets in the third quarter, Luxol started distancing themselves and had a double digit lead, 37-25, after an Ina Baena Medina trey.
The game was not over yet as Depiro came back strongly and a positive patch saw them bring down the margin to a single point, 38-39, after a 3-pointer from Nicole Agius.
A time-out helped Luxol recompose themselves and they grabbed a game winning 7-0 run as now the clock was ticking its last seconds and Depiro had no time to get back in the game.
Gzira Athleta 65 Hibernians 59 (19-18, 13-13, 13-8, 20-20) Gzira Athleta: C. Grima 21, M. Pollacco , S. Pisani , L. Sciberras 6, A. Simmons 28, D. Said Hollier 3, A. Borg 5, J. Schembri, S. Vella 2, E. Pace, C. Mifsud Hibs: E. Cassar 11, S. Gambino 10, I. Agius 1, K. Caruana, M. Said 3, N. Vella, K. Portanier Mifsud, N. Farrugia, T. Armstead 28, A. Marinkovic, J. Scerri 4 Referees: S. Micallef, E. Ozpolat
A superior performance in the third quarter by Gzira Athleta was the crucial factor in this game as Hibs had managed to stay close during the first half. Yet once Athleta opened an 8 point lead, 45-37, with 12 minutes to go, it was an uphill task for Hibs and they never managed to come back very close to their opponents.
Whilst Gzira Athleta had local foreigner Milica Stefanovic on suspension, Hibs had a new local foreigner, also a Serb, Alexandra Marinkoic.
The first half was a totally balanced affair ending 32-31 for the victors with Amelia Simmons doing a lot of damage under the Hibs basket whilst Christina Grima banged in three treys whilst, at the other end, the long distance shots were coming from Elena Cassar and Silvia Gambino whilst import Trudy Armstead was a constant threat.
A 7-1 run between the 8th and 9th minute of the third quarter proved to be a key moment of the game as Gzira Athleta went 45-37 ahead. Hibs could only come within five points of their opponents, 47-52, but Gzira Athleta quickly reacted and extended their lead further even to a maximum 11 points, 60-49, and then controlled Hibs' final desperate attempts to save the game.
Reports by: Bernard Vassallo Depiro 54 Starlites Naxxar 56 (14-11, 12-14, 7-17, 21-14) Depiro: A. Mifsud, G. Mifsud 3, M. Balzaraviciute, S. Brincat 14, M. Bonett 19, N. Agius 5, M. Scicluna 1, H. Acreman 2, T. DeMartino, C. Ciantar 10 Starlites: D. Revol, K. Galea 2, J. Doughty, S. Farrugia 10, K. Pirotta 2, J. Grima 17, P. Arguello 17, E. Magrin 2, S. Davies 3, A. Lupo 3 Refeees: S. Micallef, I. Marjanovic Hibernians 55 Caffe Moak Luxol 49 (16-4, 11-12, 19-12, 9-21) Hibs:, E. Cass... [read more]
Reports by: Bernard Vassallo Depiro 54 Starlites Naxxar 56 (14-11, 12-14, 7-17, 21-14) Depiro: A. Mifsud, G. Mifsud 3, M. Balzaraviciute, S. Brincat 14, M. Bonett 19, N. Agius 5, M. Scicluna 1, H. Acreman 2, T. DeMartino, C. Ciantar 10 Starlites: D. Revol, K. Galea 2, J. Doughty, S. Farrugia 10, K. Pirotta 2, J. Grima 17, P. Arguello 17, E. Magrin 2, S. Davies 3, A. Lupo 3 Refeees: S. Micallef, I. Marjanovic
Hibernians 55 Caffe Moak Luxol 49 (16-4, 11-12, 19-12, 9-21) Hibs:, E. Cassar 7, S. Gambino 7 , I. Agius 2, M. Said 7, N. Vella, K. Portanier Mifsud, N. Farrugia 3, T. Armstead 19, J. Scerri 10 Luxol: S. Pace 10, B. Zammit, M. Mercieca 9, I. Baena Medina, M. Darmanin, M. Caruana 2, K. Portelli, A. Calleja, P. Ellul, L. Lessard 21, C. Curmi 6 Referees: J. Mangani, Z. Dobrosavljevic
There were another two close games in the MSV Life Women League to continue confirming the fact that there exists little difference between all the sides this season. With leaders Gzira Athleta resting, Depiro succumbed to their third defeat in the league losing with a solitary basket difference against an energetic Starlites side, the latter playing their first league game. The game was decided in the final moments with a brace of Josephine Grima (193-C-84) free throws ascertaining Starlites' victory. Depiro will rue also a number of free throws missed in the last quarter which also proved costly in this defeat.
In the other match, reigning champions Caffe Moak Luxol were handed their first league defeat by Hibernians who, from their end, were registering their first league victory. Hibs were quick to open a considerable early lead at 21-7 and later 46-24 in the third quarter. Luxol tried a late comeback with a 12-0 run, mostly through Lindsay Lessard, but time was in Hibs' favour as they held on and Trudy Armstead's final hoops assured them the win.
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