Bupa Luxol 72 Gira Athleta 80 (20-16) (15-24) (19-18) (18-22)
Gzira Athleta secured their third position in the table after beating Bupa Luxol 80-72. Luxol tried hard till the end to obtain the victory however they lost Colt Fason (198-F, college: Ouachita Baptist) with a hand injury which will leave him out for the remainder of the season. The lead changed hands several times especially in the first minutes of the game with triples for Luxol by Jean Paul Bonnici and CJ Cordina as Lee Fisher (198-F-89, college: Chicago St.) and Michael Naudi replied for Athleta. In the second period, Athleta had a positive moment with a 12-2 run with a Roderick Vella trey and more points by Fisher and Naudi. Marco Mercieca and Fason with a triple replied for Luxol however Athleta were ahead 40-35 at halftime. After the break Luxol twice were on equal terms after another Bonnici triple. Athleta replied strongly as they had another 14-4 run with Fisher increasing his points. Luxol got nearer once more as Cordina and JP Schembri both netted triples for a 58-54 score. Athleta opened the last quarter with an 8-2 run however Luxol's final effort with Fason out saw them leveling the score once more 72-72. Miguel Gauchi Montaldo gave the lead to Athleta once more as they increased their advantage with Naudi's free-shots to win the game 80-72. Bupa Luxol: CJ Cordina 19, C. Fason 23, J. Willoughby, S. Visser, K. Dimech, J.P. Schembri 5, J. Maistre Mellilo, M. Mercieca 16, JP Bonnici 9. Gira Athleta: M. Naudi 28, R. Vella 10, F. Mifsud Bonnici, L. Stefanovic, I. Buldakov, A. Micallef 1, N. Lubrano 2, S. Vincic, M. Gauchi Montaldo 7, L. Fisher 32. Referees: Emanuel Mangani, Alfred Carbonaro, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic.
Champions Falken Cynergi Virtus registered another century score this time against Pavi Depiro 109-69 as they are preparing to defend their title in the play-offs in a couple of weeks time. They still need to face Floriana Cafe Del Mar next week to ensure their top place of the table to avoid Athleta in the semi-finals. Virtus began with an 8-2 run and although Depiro replied, champions hit with a strong 20-4 run with several triples from Jacob Formosa, Chris Santo (196-F, college: St.Anselm) and Peter Shoults to end the first quarter ahead 33-14. In the second period there was another strong start by Virtus with a 14-2 run with a Robert Bonnici trey and points by Santo and Alec Felice Pace. They opened a 30 point lead and went further ahead with more triples from Shawn Pace and Shoults and at the interval they were leading 60-28. After the break there was a good reaction from Depiro who opened the session with a 12-0 run as they played aggressive defense and forced champions into some turnovers. However it was only a matter of time for Virtus shooters to start netting several treys especially Pace who had three and another one from Bugeja and Virtus were 87-55 in front. In the last quarter, Virtus opened with another 8-0 run with Formosa and Santo sharing the points equally. Kurt Xuereb (175-PG-97) and Andrew Aquilina replied for Depiro however champions passed the century mark with a Bonnici triple. There was still time for another 8-2 run by Depiro with hoops from Xuereb and Mike Nwelue (196-F, college: Drury) before a Felice Pace triple for the champions as they won the game 109-69.
Falken Cynergi Virtus: S. Pace 19, D. Bugeja 12, R. Bonnici 11, D. Camilleri, S. Bonnici, J. Formosa 16, A. Felice Pace 5, C. Santo 32, L. Sobers 2, F. Bartolo 1, P. Shoults 9, T. Grech 2. Pavi Depiro: J. Attard 2, M. Agius, D. Schembri, A. Aquilina 8, N. Grech 2, T. Zammit 2, M. Mallia 6, V. Vlachos 2, K. Xuereb 17, M. Borg 4, M. Nwelue 26. Referees: Gordon Barbara, Christine Farrugia, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic.
Hibernians 75 Floriana Cafe Del Mar 86 (17-14) (26-23) (21-23) (11-26)
Hibs offered a tough resistance to Floriana Cafe Del Mar and it was only in the last session that Floriana could finally obtain an advantage to obtain the victory. Floriana who had Lee Ross missing for this game opened the game with the first six points. There was a reaction from Hibs who were without Stefan Vella and Fabrizio Mariani as they made up an 11-2 run with treys from Kieron Caruana and Ryan Carabott (180-SG-96) as they closed the quarter in front 17-14. In the start of the second session Hibs increased their lead with points by Marco Matijevic and Simon Attard. Floriana replied mainly from Chad Patus (203-F-87, college: Belm.Abbey) together with Clayton Calleja and Abraham Portelli. Attard netted a couple of triples for Hibs as they held on to their lead and despite a trey by Patus, Hibs were in front at half time 43-37. After the interval, Floriana couldn't find a way to take an advantage since Hibs kept replying well with their points as Attard netted another couple of treys together with points from Caruana and Matijevic to open a maximum 15 point lead 64-49. Floriana finally recovered as they went for an 11-0 run of their own with a Nikola Vasovic triple and points from Patus to reduce the gap 64-60. Floriana kept their momentum in the start of the last quarter as they made up another 12-1 run and finally went back in the lead 72-65. Hibs reacted and another Attard triple and points by Matijevic drew them just 4 points behind 75-79. Matijevic committed his fifth foul and the greens closed the game with another 10-2 run and won the game 86-75.
Hibs: P. Attard 3, M. Houmpton, G. Agius, L. Farrugia 1, S. Attard 22, I. Bonett 2, K. Caruana 12, R. Carabott 10, K. Sultana, A. Gerdes, M. Matijevic 25. Floriana Cafe Del Mar: C. Patus 39, N. Sultana 9, S. Borg 1, A. Portelli 4, N. Vasovic 18, C. Calleja 2, A. Axiaq 8, A. Micallef Trigona 3, N. Andrejevic 2. Referees: Bernard Vassallo, Alfred Carbonaro, Gordon Barbara.
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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