Bupa Luxol confirmed their 4th place in the table and left Pavi Depiro without a victory so far in the league at the end of the first round. Luxol opened the game with the first 10 points including a trey by Jean Paul Bonnici together with Colt Fason (198-F, college: Ouachita Baptist) and CJ Cordina. Depiro came back as they had an 11-2 run of their own with a Kurt Xuereb triple and six points by Mike Nwelue (196-F, college: Drury) but Luxol were leading by one point 14-13. In the second quarter, Luxol increased their lead to 5 points before an Andrew Aquilina (89) trey for Depiro. Then Luxol hit strongly with three consecutive treys by Bonnici, Fason and Cordina. Depiro however managed to stay close as they had another 12-2 run with points from Matthew Borg, Nwelue and Timothy Zammit for a 33-32 score at half time. In the third period, Luxol opened strongly with a 15-2 run with treys from JP Schembri. Depiro also had a triple from Zammit however six consecutive points by Fason and Cordina increased Luxol's advantage to 16 points and they closed the period in front 61-45. In the last session, Luxol opened with another short 7-0 run with another Schembri triple. Depiro tried to re-open the match as they went for a 14-2 run with a Nicholas Grech triple however in the last minutes there were consecutive points by Fason and Luxol won the game 79-61. Bupa Luxol: CJ Cordina 18, C. Fason 36, J. Willoughby, S. Visser, J. Tabone, J.P. Schembri 11, K. Dimech, M. Mercieca 6, J. Maistre Mellilo, JP Bonnici 6. Pavi Depiro: J. Attard 2, M. Agius, A. Aquilina 5, N. Grech 3, T. Zammit 7, M. Mallia, V. Vlachos, K. Xuereb 16, M. Borg 4, M. Nwelue 24. Referees: Bernard Vassallo, Emanuel Mangani, Teemu Helenius.
Hibernians 51 Gira Athleta 90 (17-15) (11-24) (12-22) (11-29)
Athleta strengthened their third place in the table after beating Hibernians 90-51. There was no chance for the Paolites this time to repeat their Louis Borg Cup surprise as Athleta dominated the game especially after the interval. The first session was quite a balanced affair with both teams replying to each other as Hibs had Kieron Caruana's treys together with points by Fabrizio Mariani (205-C/F-83, agency: SPORTlab Agency) who replaced injured Marco Matijevic. Hibs ended the first quarter in front 17-15 however Athleta opened better in the second quarter with a 14-2 run including treys by Billy Zammit and Lee Fisher and in the fifth minute they were 29-20 ahead. Hibs replied with a Simon Attard trey however Athleta had points from Ivan Buldakov including a triple to open an 11 point lead at halftime 39-28. In the third quarter, Athleta increased their lead immediately as they had two treys by Nicolai Lubrano. Michael Naudi (193-G/F-80) increased their advantage with consecutive points together with Fisher. Mariani replied for Hibs however Athleta went for another 8-2 run with more points from Naudi and Roderick Vella to close the session ahead 61-40. In the last quarter, Hibs netted the first 5 points however Athleta proceeded with a strong 17-2 run with several points by Naudi together with Lubrano and Fisher. There was still time for a Francesco Mifsud Bonnici triple and points by youngsters Luca Stefanovic and Stefan Vincic as Athleta won the game 90-51.
Hibs: P. Attard, M. Houmpton, G. Agius 3, L. Farrugia 7, S. Attard 5, I. Bonett 3, K. Caruana 8, R. Carabott 3, K. Sultana, S. Vella 2, F. Mariani 20, R. Cortis. Gira Athleta: M. Naudi 31, R. Vella 4, F. Mifsud Bonnici 3, D. Wiersum, L. Stefanovic 2, I. Buldakov 9, B. Zammit 3, A. Micallef 4, N. Lubrano 11, S. Vincic 2, J. Wait, L. Fisher 21. Referees: Gordon Barbara, Emanuel Mangani, Christine Farrugia.
Falken Cynergi Virtus 58 Floriana Cafe Del Mar 52 (14-15) (11-16) (15-13) (18-8)
Champions Falken Cynergi Virtus remained un-beaten so far in all competitions as they closed the first round with a victory against rivals Floriana Cafe Del Mar 58-52. As happened nearly in all matches between these two teams so far, it was in the last session that Virtus overturned the score especially with hard defence that left Floriana without points in the first six minutes. Floriana took the first lead with points from Chad Patus (203-F-87, college: Belm.Abbey), Lee Ross and Nigel Sultana. Virtus replied as they went 7-6 ahead however Floriana replied with five points including a trey by Patus. Virtus took the lead again this time with points from Jacob Formosa together with Chris Santo (196-F, college: St.Anselm) however 4 free-throws by Sultana saw Floriana ending the session ahead 15-14. In the second quarter, Santo gave Virtus the lead once more however he had to be rested after committing his third foul. His absence was felt later on in the quarter as Floriana ended with an 8-0 run and at the break they were leading 31-25. In the third quarter Virtus reduced the gap once more after an 9-2 run including a Robert Bonnici triple. Floriana replied once more with hoops from Sean Borg and Ross as they kept their advantage for the final session 44-40. Virtus were more aggressive in the last period as they opened with a strong 11-0 run with treys from Peter Shoults and David Bugeja. Floriana replied only in the sixth minute as they had Sultana's points but Virtus hit back with 4 points by Formosa. Patus netted a trey to keep Floriana's hopes alive however Virtus scored the final free-throws as Floriana couldn't find the net again and the champions won the game 62-58 to close the first round on top of the table.
Falken Cynergi Virtus: S. Pace 3, D. Bugeja 10, R. Bonnici 10, L. Sobers, S. Bonnici, J. Formosa 13, A. Felice Pace, C. Santo 17, P. Shoults 5, T. Grech. Floriana Cafe Del Mar: C. Patus 22, D. Borg, L. Ross 8, N. Sultana 10, S. Borg 2, A. Portelli, C. Calleja 4, A. Axiaq 6, A. Micallef Trigona, N. Andrejevic. Referees: Bernard Vassallo, Teemu Helenius, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic.
BOV League Division 1 Men 2017 Finals Series Game 3 BUPA Luxol 84 Floriana MCP Car Parks 71 (25-12, 22-16, 23-18, 14-25) Luxol: CJ Cordina 3, M. Mercieca 3, M. Sjoberg, J. Maistre, JP Schembri 17, K. Dimech 10, W. Ahlberg 3, P. Cumpstone 21, S. Deguara 27, S. Cappello Floriana: C. Patus 13, D. Schembri 25, S. Borg 11, D. Agius, N. Vasovic 6, C. Calleja, A. Axiaq 11, A. Micallef Trigona 2, N. Andrejevic 4 Referees: G. Barbara, E. Mangani, I. Simic BUPA Luxol made it a clean sweep in th... [read more]
BOV League Division 1 Men 2017 Finals Series Game 3
BUPA Luxol 84 Floriana MCP Car Parks 71 (25-12, 22-16, 23-18, 14-25) Luxol: CJ Cordina 3, M. Mercieca 3, M. Sjoberg, J. Maistre, JP Schembri 17, K. Dimech 10, W. Ahlberg 3, P. Cumpstone 21, S. Deguara 27, S. Cappello Floriana: C. Patus 13, D. Schembri 25, S. Borg 11, D. Agius, N. Vasovic 6, C. Calleja, A. Axiaq 11, A. Micallef Trigona 2, N. Andrejevic 4 Referees: G. Barbara, E. Mangani, I. Simic
BUPA Luxol made it a clean sweep in this year's BOV League play-off stage when after a 3-0 series won in the semi-final stage against Gzira Athleta, the violets continued with three straight wins in the finals series against Floriana MCP Car Parks.
Thus Luxol retuned on the champions podium for the thirteenth time in history, eight years after their last success in 2009 when that year they had beaten Sliema (today Gzira Athleta) 2-0 in the finals.
Continuing from their big win in game 2, Luxol were quick to establish a good early lead.
The first moments of this third final were a bit clumsy and the first bucket came after two minutes through a long distance shot from Jean-Paul Schembri (182-G-92).
Floriana, who were featuring in the third final series in the last five years managing also to win the league in 2013, did have a reply at this stage and a Sean Borg (177-PG-92) hoop followed by a Nikola Vasovic (180-PG-92) trey gave them the only lead in the game, 5-3, after three minutes.
In the next six minutes Luxol struck in a solid manner as a Keith Dimech (178-F-00) 3-pointer set them off on an important 19-2 run with Samuel Deguara (223-C-91) starting to contribute offensive points with a number of free throws and Schembri hitting two consecutive treys. The same player remained on the mark as he had another two treys at the start of the second period and then, with Deguara and Pierce Cumpstone (203-F-94, college: Stonehill) finding more space to bang in their points, Luxol extended their lead to 44-20 after 18 minutes of play.
Led positively by William Ahlberg, who had a quiet day in shooting but finished with six assists, Luxol searched to feed the ball more to Deguara after the interval and the local giant made use of his towering height and helped his side to have a further run, this time 9-0, as the margin increased to a maximum of 62-34 midway in the third quarter.
Deguara's fourth foul and subsequent bench time spurred Floriana to put in a reaction and led by Chad Patus (203-F-87, college: Belm.Abbey) and another offensive first rate performance from Dirk Schembri (193-F-85), they started somewhat gnawing slowly into the margin, especially when early in the last quarter the greens had their best moment in the game with 19-2 run that led them to a 65-74 score.
Deguara, who had re-entered in the game earlier, fouled out with three minutes to go and a Patus hoop had Floriana just 8 points away, 69-77.
Yet, with the greens failing to score in their next couple of plays, Pierce Cumpstone took all the responsibility and six personal points ascertained Luxol's third series victory and the thirteenth league crown.
At the end of the match, Bank of Valletta's Chief Officer Peter Perotti and the MBA president Paul Sultana, presented the winning medals to the BUPA Luxol players and technical staff, the Most Valuable Player award for the finals series to Samuel Deguara and finally handed the 2017 BOV League trophy to Luxol's captain Marco Mercieca (184-PG-83).
What they said:
Chad Patus (Floriana): 'the finals were an intense physical battle, just like we expected.
Luxol came really together well this season, especially after Samuel joined them.
Each of their players found a role that would, in some way, benefit the team and this made them a very difficult team to match up against.
We fought hard and I really want to thank my team mates for the effort but we should also tip our hats to Luxol who won the league.'
Marco Mercieca (Luxol): 'I am obviously thrilled to bring back the league to Luxol after a number of years.
It was a tough season, especially at the beginning, but following the arrival of Samuel, thanks to the efforts of the club president Edgar Caruana Montaldo, changed the team camaraderie completely and we had a great 2017 which was capped with a 6-0 playoff run.
I am glad to win my 5th personal league honour to end my career on a high.'
John Tabone (Luxol): 'this championship was a deserved achievement at the end, yet it was somewhat unexpected at the beginning of the season.
Our fortunes took a boost during Christmas when our President Edgar Caruana Montaldo managed to re-sign Samuel Deguara with the club. This was an important twist in our favour as it changed Luxol from a mediocre side trying to make the Play offs final 4 into a potential championship team. And what a Championship team it turned out to be. One of the most complete side we ever had at LUXOL. Every department was filled up to perfection.
With the trio of Deguara, Cumpstone and Ahlberg our game became more secure and spectacular, both on offence and most of all on defence. They guided us all throughout the Semis and more importantly during the finals.
Special mention to our captain Marco Mercieca for his continuous support, to Keith Dimech, our sixteen year old darling, who was a delight to watch as he committed himself to the team like a seasoned senior and to Jean-Paul Schembri who played an important role with his longrange shots. CJ Cordina, Stefan Cappello and Jamie Maistre Melillo were also important for our final success their commitment to the team and to our under 23 side which together with Keith Dimech and Pierce Cumpstone were also crowned the under 23 league Champions.'
BUPA Luxol were yesterday crowned Malta basketball champions for the 13th time in the club's history after defeating Floriana MCP Car Parks 84-71 to seal the final play-off series 3-0. This was Luxol's first championship crown after an absence of eight years. Samuel Deguara(223-C-91) was again the protagonist for John Tabone's Luxol yesterday as the towering pivot was the game's leading scorer with 27 points. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the final series. Courtesy of: timesofm... [read more]
BUPA Luxol were yesterday crowned Malta basketball champions for the 13th time in the club's history after defeating Floriana MCP Car Parks 84-71 to seal the final play-off series 3-0. This was Luxol's first championship crown after an absence of eight years. Samuel Deguara (223-C-91) was again the protagonist for John Tabone's Luxol yesterday as the towering pivot was the game's leading scorer with 27 points. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the final series. Courtesy of: timesofmalta.com
Bank of Valletta 2017 Finals Series Game 1 BUPA Luxol 80 Floriana MCP Car Parks 72 (16-18, 24-13, 20-15, 20-26) Luxol: CJ Cordina, M. Mercieca, M. Sjoberg, J. Maistre , JP Schembri 11, K. Dimech 7, W. Ahlberg 12, P. Cumpstone 16, S. Deguara 28, S. Cappello 6 Floriana: C. Patus 34, D. Schembri 11, S. Borg, D. Agius, N. Vasovic 18, C. Calleja 2, A. Axiaq 2, A. Micallef 5, N. Andrejevic Referees: B. Vassallo, E. Mangani, I. Simic BUPA Luxol continued on their play-offs winning streak by r... [read more]
Bank of Valletta 2017 Finals Series
BUPA Luxol 80 Floriana MCP Car Parks 72 (16-18, 24-13, 20-15, 20-26) Luxol: CJ Cordina, M. Mercieca, M. Sjoberg, J. Maistre , JP Schembri 11, K. Dimech 7, W. Ahlberg 12, P. Cumpstone 16, S. Deguara 28, S. Cappello 6 Floriana: C. Patus 34, D. Schembri 11, S. Borg, D. Agius, N. Vasovic 18, C. Calleja 2, A. Axiaq 2, A. Micallef 5, N. Andrejevic Referees: B. Vassallo, E. Mangani, I. Simic
BUPA Luxol continued on their play-offs winning streak by registering a win against Floriana in the first game of the 2017 BOV Finals.
The greens did try to offer a stern challenge and had their good moments in the game, although Luxol managed to open a considerable double digit lead in the third quarter, only for Floriana to pull up their socks once again and managing to come quite close.
The finals got off with sharp long distance shooting from Luxol as four different players managed to respectively score early from downtown. In fact, import player Pierce Cumpstone (203-F-94, college: Stonehill), local foreigner William Ahlberg (91) and local youngsters Jean-Paul Schembri (182-G-92) and Keith Dimech (178-F-00) were all precise from behind the 6.75 metre arc.
However Floriana were not overawed and were also notching up their early points led by Canadian Chad Patus (203-F-87, college: Belm.Abbey) who had eight personal points, including two treys. Shorly afterwards Floriana also managed to take the lead after a Dirk Schembri (193-F-85) close range basket and this marginal lead was maintained till the end of the first quarter, 18-16.
Luxol started winning the defensive boards in the second quarter and had their towering pivot Samuel Deguara (223-C-91) more in the action and they overturned the score with a 13-2 run. Despite Floriana's treys from Patus and Nikola Vasovic (180-PG-92), who both played all throughout the match, there was still a nine point margin between the two finalists at the interval, 40-31.
Luxol maintained their tempo when play resumed and led by their trio Cumpstone, Deguara and Ahlberg, who all were on the court for the whole 40 minutes of playing time, they had another positive run, this time 14-2, to open a hefty plus twenty lead, 54-33.
Floriana did not throw in the towel and they retorted with nine consecutive points, managing also to bring down some offensive rebounds and the margin came down to 60-46 at the end of the third quarter.
The last quarter produced the most points of the lot. Floriana put in a good effort to try to claw back into the game and were momentarily managing to find their way to the opponents' basket and an 11-2 mid-quarter run moved the greens closer to their adversaries. However Luxol did not let the game slip away and obtained some important hoops and controlled the final moments of the game.
Game 2 of this best-of-five Finals series will be played tomorrow at 7.30pm.
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