Floriana MCP Car Parks 83 Gira Athleta 67 (15-17) (14-13) (36-11) (18-26)
The game was quite balanced till the interval with Athleta leading by one point. However a strong run in the third quarter gave Floriana a 24 point lead which however was neutralized by Athleta in the first minutes of the last session. It was the fifth encounter between the two sides this season. Floriana, who only had seven players in their line-up, went ahead at 9-4 with initial hoops from Shawn Pace and Anton Axiaq together with a Nikola Vasovic trey. Athleta replied with a 9-2 run to close the period in front 17-15. In the second quarter, Floriana re-gained their lead after another 8-2 run however points from Josiah Whitehead (198-F-86, college: Robert Morris) gave a slim advantage to Athleta at the interval 30-29. After the break, Floriana had 2 strong runs, 10-0 and 19-2 with points by Chad Patus and Vasovic to lead by 24 points, 65-41, with 10 minutes remaining. Athleta recovered well in the start of the last quarter with 19 consecutive points in the first four minutes with David Camilleri points together with Peter Shoults and Michael Naudi. Score was now 65-60 for Floriana who managed to make 12-4 run with Patus and Vasovic treys to regain a comfortable lead which saw them winning the game 83-67.
Floriana MCP Car Parks: C. Patus 25, S. Pace 7, S. Borg 12, N. Vasovic 25, C. Calleja 4, A. Axiaq 10, N. Andrejevic. Gira Athleta: M. Naudi 17, R. Vella 6, D. Camilleri 6, L. Stefanovic, P. Shoults 13, F. Mifsud Bonnici, B. Zammit 4, J. Bos, S. Vincic, M. G. Montaldo, J. Whitehead 21. Referees: Bernard Vassallo, Igor Marjanovic, Christine Farrugia.
Luxol had only six men for this match but yet they were still good enough to beat Starlites in a high scoring match. Luxol got the initial points with an early 11-5 run including a Keith Dimech trey. Ivan Mitrovic replied with a triple for Starlites but William Ahlberg and JP Schembri also netted triples for Luxol who ended the first quarter in front 25-21. Play was again balanced in the second quarter as American Pierce Cumpstone (203-F-94) came more in evidence for Luxol offence as Jacob Formosa and Nikola Stankovic replied for Starlites in a 9-2 run. However Luxol were leading 42-40 at the interval. In the third quarter both teams had more treys with Ahlberg for Luxol and Stankovic and Mitrovic for Starlites. Luxol ended the period with an 11-0 run which gave them a good lead 69-55. In the last quarter Starlites tried hard to recover once more as they put an 9-2 run of their own however Luxol kept calm and slowly ended the game with a solid 15-2 run with more Ahlberg and Cumpstone points to win the game 89-68.
Bupa Luxol: J. Maistre Melillo, JP Schembri 12, K. Dimech 11, W. Ahlberg 30, P. Cumpstone 26, S. Cappello 10. Starlites: I. Mitrovic 26, M. Azzopardi, I. Pace, A. Schembri, C. Schembri, M. Falzon 6, A. Felice Pace 2, Zika Stankovic, J. Formosa 15, N. Stankovic 19, M. Vella, T. Grech. Referees: Gordon Barbara, Stephen Micallef, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic.
With less than 2 seconds for the end of the game, Hibs were leading by 4 points but a foul on a Bugeja three pointer and the converted free-throw forced overtime which went Depiro's way. Hibs had a lot of chances to win the game but a series of missed free-throws kept Depiro close enough to obtain their first league win. Depiro opened with an Andrew Aquilina trey but Hibs recovered well to make a 13-0 run as Spaniard Alvaro Lizaur combined well with Marco Matijevic under the boards. In the second quarter Depiro went in front after a Kurt Xuereb triple but there was another 9-0 run by Hibs including a Luke Farrugia triple. Two consecutive treys by Robert Bonnici cut the deficit to 7 points at the interval, 37-30. Depiro kept chasing Hibs after the interval however they kept giving offensive rebounds as under the board was dominated by the Hibs strong duo Lizaur-Matijevic. As the game came close to the end, it looked like it was going Hibs' way despite the continuous mistakes from the free-throw line. However Bugeja's 4 point play took the match into overtime. Depiro were now galvanized as they had two treys from Aquilina to take the lead and Hibs could only reduce the deficit with a Simon Attard triple but final points from Timothy Zammit gave Depiro the victory 83-79.
Cynergi Depiro: N. Grech, D. Bugeja 21, R. Bonnici 11, D. Schembri, A. Aquilina 12, S. Zammit, T. Zammit 1, M. Mallia, DJ Mason 23, K. Xuereb 10, M. Borg, D. Scafidi 5. Hibernians: P. Attard, M. Houmpton, A. Micallef 9, L. Farrugia 3, S. Attard 4, I. Bonett, K. Sultana, R. Carabott 2, M. Matijevic 23, F. Mariani 2, A. Lizaur 36. Referees: Bernard Vassallo, Gordon Barbara, Erkan Ozpolat.
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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