Falken Cynergi Virtus recovered strongly from the defeat in the Knock Out final obtaining a great victory over Hibs 135-63. Virtus had already reached hundred points in the third session, something very rare, especially in the local scene. Hibs, had 41 turnovers and the style of their play was not as usual as champions hardly gave them a chance. After a balanced start, Virtus made a 13-6 run with several points by Chris Santo (196-F, college: St.Anselm). Virtus continued with three pointers by Robert Bonnici and Jacob Formosa and despite Hibs had the points by Luke Farrugia, consecutive points by David Bugeja saw Virtus closing the first period in front 38-18. Virtus opened the second session with another 20-2 break with three pointers from Santo and David Camilleri. Hibs stopped them with a Kieron Caruana (178-F/C-97) triple but Virtus points continued on a regular basis and at half time they had a comfortable double figure lead 66-33. In the third period, Virtus were dominant and continued to increasetheir advantage with another 13-3 run including a Camilleri triple. After a basket by Marco Matijevic for Hibs, Virtus made a strong 26-0 run with two more triples by Camilleri Shawn Pace who scored the 100th point. The session ended with Virtus in front 113-44. The last perios was the most balanced though Virtus had another 10-0 run. Hibs had points by Ryan Carabott before Simon Attard was dismissed two fouls un-sports manlike fouls. Jacob Formosa has had the last points of the game for Virtus for a final score of 135-63.
Hibs: P. Attard 4, M. Houmpton 6, G. Agius, L. Farrugia 8, S. Attard 4, I. Bonett 4, K. Caruana 11, R. Carabott 12, K. Sultana, S. Vella, F. Mariani 6, M. Matijevic 5. Falken Cynergi Virtus: S. Pace 14, D. Bugeja 20, R. Bonnici 12, D. Camilleri 19, A. Schembri, J. Formosa 18, A. Felice Pace, C. Santo 46, L. Sobers, P. Shoults 6, T. Grech. Referees: Bernard Vassallo, Alfred Carbonaro, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic.
Floriana Cafe Del Mar 68 Pavi Depiro 66 (15-10) (17-18) (16-16) (20-22)
Floriana Cafe del Mar suffered more than expected to win the first leg of their semifinal against Pavi Depiro. In fact it was a three pointer by Lee Ross in the last minute that gave them the final lead to win the match 68-66. Floriana started with points by Chad Patus and Anton Axiaq while Depiro replied with points from Michael Nwelue together with Timothy Zammit and Kurt Xuereb for a 15-10 score for Floriana. The second session opened with points on each side and Floriana remained 5 points ahead 21-16. Depiro made a 7-0 run including Zammit trey to go in front for the first time 23-21. Floriana recovered with points by Patus and Andrew Micallef Trigona who also had a triple each from and at halftime they were in front 32-28. After the interval, Depiro stayed close with points by Nwelue and Nicholas Grech. Florian replied with points by Sean Borg, Nigel Sultana and Patus to increase the advantage once more but Depiro replied again with three pointers by Xuereb and Grech and reduced the gap to 4 points 48-44. In the last period, Depiro went ahead once more after Nwelue points together with Xuereb. Floriana reply came mainly from Ross and Patus But Depiro did not give up and went in front again after an 8-0 run to open a six point advantage 65-59. Floriana recovered towards the end and managed to do a 9-0 run including a Ross trey which gave them the advantage and the kept it until the end however Depiro kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the final. Floriana Cafe Del Mar: C. Patus 30, L. Ross 13, N. Sultana 4, S. Borg 4, A. Portelli, C. Calleja 4, A. Axiaq 2, A. Micallef Trigona 11, N. Andrejevic. Pavi Depiro: J. Attard, M. Agius, J. Camilleri, D. Schembri, A. Aquilina, N. Grech 8, T. Zammit 18, M. Mallia 3, V Vlachos, K. Xuereb 16, M. Borg, M. Nwelue 21. Referees: Emanuel Magani, Alfred Carbonaro, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic.
After their big win in the first match which ensures Falken Cynergi Virtus a place in the final, this game mainly served for coach Paul Ferrante give playing time to players less utilized so far. Hibs offered a better challenge than the first leg and reduced their turnovers and had a better result. Hibs made the first two baskets of the game by Kieron Caruana and Marco Matijevic. Virtus replied with a 14-2 break including triples by Saviour Bonnici and Jacob Formosa and closed the first session in front 25-15. In the second period, Hibs reduced the dis-advantage after Matijevic points together with Ryan Carabott. Virtus had consecutive points by captain Peter Shoults but Hibs managed to take the lead after treys by Luke Farrugia and Carabott 37-35. However Virtus quickly replied with a 10-0 run and at halftime they were leading 45-37.After the interval, Virtus increased their advantage with a 12-0 run with treys by Formosa and Shawn Pace. Hibs had another positive moment and replied with an 18-2 run of their own with more points by Matijevic and another Caruana triple to reduce the gap to 1 point. Chris Santo closed session for Virtus on a score of 65-60. Champions increased again their advantage to 12 points in the last period 80-68 after a triple by Robert Bonnici. Hibs had their last points by Matijevic as Virtus closed the match with freethrows by Francois Bartolo together with Alec Felice Pace and Formosa to win the match 90-73. Falken Cynergi Virtus: S. Pace 7, D. Bugeja, R. Bonnici 12, D. Camilleri 11, S. Bonnici 8, J. Formosa 14, A. Felice Pace 4, C. Santo 22, L. Sobers, F, Bartolo 4, P. Shoults 6, T. Grech 2. Hibs: P. Attard 2, M. Houmpton, G. Agius, L. Farrugia 9, I. Bonett 5, K. Caruana 15, R. Carabott 14, K. Sultana, R. Cortis, F. Mariani 4, M. Matijevic 24. Referees: Gordon Barbara, Emanuel Mangani, Alfred Carbonaro.
Pavi Depiro 65 Floriana Cafe Del Mar 80 (18-30) (19-15) (11-18) (17-17) Aggregate: 131-148
Floriana Cafe del Mar obtained the right to contest the final of the Louis Borg Cup against Virtus next week when they beat Pavi Depiro 80-65 with an aggregate score of 148-131 . After the balanced first leg where Floriana won by just one basket, they opened the second leg with the first 13 points with two treys by Lee Ross and another one by Nigel Sultana. Depiro began to respond with points by Malcolm Mallia and Michael Nwelue together with Timothy Zammit. Floriana had more points by Sultana, Sean Borg Chad Patus to increase the lead to 30-13. Depiro closed the session with six points for a score of 30-18. Depiro started the second period with a break of 15-2 with more points by Nwelue and an Andrew Aquilina triple to take the lead for the first time 33-32 points. Floriana recovered and before the interval had a 9-0 break with a Patus trey and at halftime were leading 45-37. In the third session Floriana increased their advantage when they made a 14-0 run with points by Patus and Sean Borg. Depiro didn't give up and replied with a 9-1 break including a Kurt Xuereb triple to reduce the lead once again 48-63. They continued in the opening of the last quarter with 8 consecutive points with a Zammit triple. Floriana had two consecutive treys by Nigel Sultana to increase the lead once more to 15 points 73-58. Depiro failed to recover again and Floriana kept the lead until the end and won the match 80-65.
Pavi Depiro: J. Attard 1, M. Agius, J. Camilleri, D. Schembri 2, A. Aquilina 9, N. Grech, T. Zammit 14, M. Mallia 4, K. Xuereb 9, M. Borg, M. Nwelue 26. Floriana Cafe Del Mar: C. Patus 25, D. Borg, L. Ross 14, N. Sultana 16, S. Borg 15, A. Portelli 7, C. Calleja, A. Axiaq 2, A. Micallef Trigona 1, N. Andrejevic. Referees: Bernard Vassallo, Gordon Barbara, Emanuel Mangani
BOV Division 1 Men Semi Final Play-Offs Game 1 BOV National League - Men 1 Div. P/O S/F 1 Gzira Athleta 61 Bupa Luxol 81 (26-18, 9-30, 10-23, 16-10) Gzira Athleta: M. Naudi 11, R. Vella 1, D. Camilleri 12, M. Williams 12, P. Shoults 13, F. Mifsud Bonnici, B. Zammit 10, L. Stefanovic, S. Vincic, M. Gauci Montaldo, J. Whitehead 2 Luxol: CJ Cordina 6, M. Mercieca, M. Sjoberg, D. Meli, J. Maistre, JP Schembri 17, K. Dimech 2, W. Ahlberg 9, P. Cumpstone 30, S. Deguara 17, S. Cappello Refere... [read more]
BOV Division 1 Men Semi Final Play-Offs Game 1
BOV National League - Men 1 Div. P/O S/F 1 Gzira Athleta 61 Bupa Luxol 81 (26-18, 9-30, 10-23, 16-10) Gzira Athleta: M. Naudi 11, R. Vella 1, D. Camilleri 12, M. Williams 12, P. Shoults 13, F. Mifsud Bonnici, B. Zammit 10, L. Stefanovic, S. Vincic, M. Gauci Montaldo, J. Whitehead 2 Luxol: CJ Cordina 6, M. Mercieca, M. Sjoberg, D. Meli, J. Maistre, JP Schembri 17, K. Dimech 2, W. Ahlberg 9, P. Cumpstone 30, S. Deguara 17, S. Cappello Referees: B. Vassallo, E. Mangani, I. Simic
BUPA Luxol opened up the series against their arch rivals Gzira Athleta with a hefty 20 point win thus taking the first psychological lead in the five game series. The game had various facets although Luxol's 21-3 in the central 8 minutes of the third period was a highly influential factor in the game. Gzira Athleta had a dream start netting seven consecutive shots from downtown with David Camilleri (SG) on fire with four treys, aided with a brace of similar long distance shots from Peter Shoults (168-G-85) and another from Michael Naudi (193-G/F-80). In these early minutes, Luxol's reply came from Samuel Deguara (223-C-91) who used his height advantage with clsoe range baskets and 3-pointers from Pierce Cumpstone (203-F-94, college: Stonehill) and Jean Paul Schembri. Late free throws from Naudi and Brit Morakinyo Williams (213-C-88, college: Citadel, agency: Interperformances) who came off the bench to counter Deguara in height, helped Gzira Athleta to end the first quarter 26-18 ahead. The lead changed hands midway in the second quarter after Schembri had a personal 8-point run, including two treys. Although Athleta reacted momentarily, a similar 8-point run, this time thanks to Cumpstone helped Luxol extend their lead further to a 48-35 half time score. The third quarter was characterised with Luxol's 21-3 run, started off by William Ahlberg (91), a run that helped them open a 69-40 lead. The last quarter had Gzira Athleta trying to reduce the margin with Williams finding a better touch at close range but Luxol were in control and took home the first win in the series.
Cynergi Depiro 63 Floriana MCP Car Parks 60 (11-18, 20-10, 9-13, 23-19) Depiro: N. Grech, D. Bugeja 8, R. Bonnici 17, D. Schembri, A. Aquilina, D.J. Mason (198-F-94, college: Campbell) 25, T. Zammit, M. Mallia, A. Quiros 2, K. Xuereb 9, M. Borg, D. Scafidi 2 Floriana: C. Patus 23, S. Pace 3, S. Borg 8, N. Vasovic 16, C. Calleja, A. Axiaq 10, A. Micallef Trigona, N. Andrejevic Referees: E. Mangani, I. Simic, I. Marjanovic
A 3-point shot from the left corner of the court by Robert Bonnici, just a second from the final buzzer, determined this first semifinal in favour of Cynergi Depiro who managed to also neutralize a double digit deficit in the last four minutes. In fact, Floriana seemed to have found the right touch after taking the lead at the end of the third quarter and then opening a 10-point lead, in three instances, up to 54-44 with four minutes to go. Yet Depiro had other thoughts and five 3-pointers, two from Bonnici on either side of three consecutive treys from D.J. Mason, reopned the game. The start of the game was in Floriana's favour with hoops from Anton Axiaq (190-C-91), Shawn Pace (175-SG-90) and Nikola Vasovic (180-PG-92) helping the greens open a 16-7 lead and later to a maximum 22-11 advantage. Depiro's reply were two 10 point runs which helped them change ends with a small 31-28 lead which was extended to 38-28 as Floriana hit a dearth of points in the first six minutes. The greens however went from one extreme to another as they, led by Chad Patus (203-F-87, college: Belm.Abbey)' shooting, then had a 15-0 run spread over six minutes between quarters as it was Depiro who hit a six minute barren patch. D.J. Mason stopped Floriana's run with his first basket on his way to a personal tally of 14 points in the last quarter yet the greens still managed to hold on to 54-44. The late Mason 3-pointers tied the game in the dying seconds. Floriana fluffed their last possession coming off a time-out and Depiro made good use of this turnover with Bonnici sinking the killer trey with one second to go.
Gzira Athleta are the BOV Basketball Men's 2nd Division Champions - 4 days ago
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Today Athleta obtained their third consecutive win over Marvels Power Plus for a 3-0 victory in the best-of-5 playoff final. Athleta won with a scoreline of 61-38, however Marvels kept toe-to-toe with Athleta in the first half of the game, ending the first session 14-13 and the second session 26-23. Athleta piled on the pressure gaining a 14 point advantage in the third quarter, ending it 43-29 and ending the game with a 23 point margin. Peter Perotti, Chief Officer at Bank of Valletta pr... [read more]
Today Athleta obtained their third consecutive win over Marvels Power Plus for a 3-0 victory in the best-of-5 playoff final. Athleta won with a scoreline of 61-38, however Marvels kept toe-to-toe with Athleta in the first half of the game, ending the first session 14-13 and the second session 26-23. Athleta piled on the pressure gaining a 14 point advantage in the third quarter, ending it 43-29 and ending the game with a 23 point margin. Peter Perotti, Chief Officer at Bank of Valletta presented the champions with their medals and trophy. Kwame Thompson (G) was selected by the sports media as the most valuable player (MVP) of the final scoring 33 points in the game. He was presented with a commemorative plaque by BOV Chief Officer Peter Perotti. Courtesy of: mba.org.mt
The NBA is experiencing a gilded age. Clubs have never been more valuable, television contracts have never been more lucrative, and investors are chomping at the bit to invest in the league. One of the reasons The Association has been turned into a license to print money is basketball is played all over the world, especially in Europe. Next to football, there's not a more popular team sport on the globe. It's interesting that on the world stage, basketball is second to football. Yet, in... [read more]
The NBA is experiencing a gilded age. Clubs have never been more valuable, television contracts have never been more lucrative, and investors are chomping at the bit to invest in the league. One of the reasons The Association has been turned into a license to print money is basketball is played all over the world, especially in Europe. Next to football, there's not a more popular team sport on the globe. It's interesting that on the world stage, basketball is second to football. Yet, in the United States, it's third behind American football and baseball, but well ahead of MLS (Major League Soccer). Just how popular is basketball overseas? How common is it for a European to buy Cleveland Cavaliers hoops tickets when they plan on traveling to the U.S. for example? Or how about to the Lakers or the Celtics? We know there are leagues in countries like Russia, Italy, Spain, and Germany. Yet, there are also leagues in countries like Slovenia, Luxemburg, Malta, and Montenegro. Those are four of the ten smallest countries in Europe. Slovenia, the largest of the four, is the size of New Jersey. Below, we take a closer look at three leagues that are currently helping to popularize the sport of basketball, and indirectly, its greatest league, the NBA.
The top league in Malta, a country about the size of Lubbock, Texas, is the Powerade League Bank of Valletta Division 1. Their playoffs are scheduled for late March. In one matchup, Cynergi will battle Floriana. In the other, Athleta takes on Bupa. While we're talking about Bupa, in their last regular season game they blew out Hibernians, 118 to 58. It reminds me of the time in November of 2015 when the Golden State Warriors crushed the Memphis Grizzlies, 119 to 69. Marko Todorovic is the league's top scorer. He averaged 27 points a game during the regular season.
You may have seen James Augustine, Kenny Boynton, Jeremy Evans, Cory Higgins, Robbie Hummel, Aaron Jackson, and Jacob Pullen play in college and/or the NBA. Now, you can see them play in Russia. The world's largest country's first tier of professional club basketball is the VTB United League. The league is sponsored by VTB Bank. The VTB was founded in 2008. Its goal is to bring the top clubs of Eastern and Northern Europe into one league. Right now, the VTB contains teams from Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, and Latvia. Nonetheless, if you win the VTB League you're known as basketball champions of Russia. The VTB's top team is PBC CSKA Moscow. They are nicknamed the 'Red Army.' CSKA players that have also laced them up in the NBA include Andrei Kirilenko, Darius Songaila, Gordan Giriek, Nenad Krsti, and Dragan Tarla. Iceland
Even Iceland, Europe's most sparsely populated country, has a professional b-ball league. The Premier League, officially called the Domino's League, after its sponsor Domino's Pizza, is highest level of competitive basketball played in the Nordic island nation. The league contains teams like Skallagrimur, Snfell, and Njarvik, as well as nine more. Don't worry, there are also teams without tongue-breaking names, like KR, KFI, and IR. My favorite team is Thor Thorl from orlakshoefn. Their starting shooting guard is American Tobin Carberry. He used to play for the LIU Post Pioneers. KR and IR are from Reykjavik. They are the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers of the Domino's League. Each team has won 15 league titles-tied for the most all-time. KR has won the last three championships. Prominent American hoopsters that have balled in Iceland's Premier League include Stew Johnson, J'Nathan Bullock, Justin Shouse, and Nick Bradford. Current American players include Atkinson Jeremy, Cedrick Bowen, Aaron Brown, and Myron Dempsey. The league was founded in 1951.
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