Starlites had already beaten Depiro twice this season including a last seconds victory in the league however this time there was no chance for them as Depiro took the match in their hands from the early stages to ensure a comfortable victory. Depiro quickly opened the match with a 10-0 as David Bugeja (180-SG-92) opened his enormous match with a couple of hoops. There was also a Robert Bonnici triple as Depiro ended the session 20-11 in front. The second period was worse for Starlites as they succumbed to Depiro's pressure in defence with Andrew Aquilina registering 10 steals. Aquilina netted a couple of treys as well as Depiro netted a 19-0 run to lead heavily at halftime 57-21. After the break Depiro kept hammering with another 13-0 run and although Starlites replied with points from Jacob Formosa (188-G-97) and Nikola Stankovic, Depiro's lead increased to 82-31. Depiro began the last quarter with a 10-0 run. They reached the century with a Bugeja basket after that Formosa sank a couple of triples for Starlites. Depiro ended the match with a 19-2 run to win 119-50 rendering the second encounter worthless.
Starlites: I. Mitrovic 4, I. Pace, L. Vella, A. Schembri 2, C. Schembri, M. Falzon, A. Felice Pace 5, Z. Stankovic, J. Formosa 21, N. Stankovic 14, M. Vella, T. Grech 4. Cynergi Depiro: N. Grech, D. Bugeja 41, R. Bonnici 18, D. Schembri 4, A. Aquilina 14, DJ Mason 11, T. Zammit 4, M. Mallia, A. Quiroz, K. Xuereb 6, M. Borg, D. Scafidi 21. Referees: Gordon Barbara, Igor Marjanovic, Christine Farrugia.
Gzira Athleta 81 Hibernians 77 (15-20) (34-23) (12-18) (20-16)
In a very interesting match Gzira Athleta obtained a 4 point lead against Hibernians 81-77. Athleta suffered once more underneath the boards in what looks to be a weak point for them at this stage of the season, conceding a lot of offensive rebounds to their adversaries. With Spaniard Alvaro Lizaur and now Maltese Marco Matijevic combining well under the boards, Hibs opened with a 12-2 run as they took the lead after a Peter Shoults (168-G-85) triple for Athleta. In the second session, Athleta replied with a 10-2 run of their own led by Michael Naudi together with Roderick Vella and Josiah Whitehead. Hibs went in front once more but Athleta had another 7-2 run with two David Camilleri triples as they opened a six point advantage 49-43. After the break, Athleta increased their lead to 10 points 57-47 but Hibs replied once more as they went for a 13-2 run which had both sides on level terms at the end of the quarter 61-61. Athleta started well in the last session with an 11-2 run as they had treys from Shoults and Vella. Hibs didn't give up and replied with a 9-0 break that saw them reducing the gap to just one basket before Whitehead's final hoop which gave them a 4 point lead for the return match.
Gzira Athleta: M. Naudi 13, R. Vella 14, D. Camilleri 12, L. Stefanovic, P. Shoults 18, F. Mifsud Bonnici, B. Zammit, J. Bos, S. Vincic, M. G. Montaldo, J. Whitehead 24. Hibernians: P. Attard, A. Micallef 12, L. Farrugia 7, S. Attard 3, I. Bonett, R. Carabott, M. Matijevic 23, S. Vella, F. Mariani 2, A. Lizaur 30. Referees: Bernard Vassallo, Gordon Barbara, Erkan Ozpolat.
Floriana MCP Car Parks 74 Bupa Luxol 69 (27-18) (12-17) (15-15) (20-19)
Similar to the previous match, this was a close encounter and qualification to the semi-final is still an open battle. JP Schembri opened with a trey for Luxol with Floriana quickly replying with a 9-2 run as Chad Patus netted his first trey of the match. There were more points on each side with Pierce Cumpstone (203-F-94) and William Ahlberg scoring for Luxol but Patus and Nicola Vasovic replied for Floriana who opened a 9 point lead 27-18. In the second quarter, Luxol reduced the gap to 2 points following an 8-0 run with more Cumpstone points. Patus replied for Floriana once more as they went for the break in front 39-35. In the third quarter, Luxol first managed to level the score 41-41 and then also taking the lead for three times after a CJ Cordina triple. However a Patus trey followed by a Vasovic hoop saw Floriana ahead once more 54-50. The last quarter had Floriana keeping their advantage as they had more treys from Patus and Vasovic. Luxol went in front once more with Cordina's points however Floriana ended the match with an 8-2 run which gave them a 5 point advantage for the second match.
Floriana MCP Car Parks: C. Patus 32, S. Pace 4, S. Borg, N. Vasovic 18, C. Calleja 10, A. Axiaq 10, N. Andrejevic. Bupa Luxol: CJ Cordina 11, D. Meli, J. Maistre Melillo, JP Schembri 13, K. Dimech, W. Ahlberg 11, P. Cumpstone 21, S. Cappello 13. 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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