Starlites 88 Floriana MCP Car Parks 108 (24-25) (13-25) (30-29) (21-29)
Floriana MCP Car Parks opened a double digit lead in the second quarter and had Starlites chasing them for the rest of the match, although the latter did make a last surge in the final quarter and threatened to egt well into the game only for Floriana to ascertain themselves of the win with a determined and game closing 16-2 run. This was the first seasonal meet between these two sides and it started off as a very balanced affair. Although the greens had a positive start racing to a 12-4 lead with Chad Patus (203-F-87, college: Belm.Abbey), the game's top scorer, already in the midst of things, Starlites quickly reacted and with accurate long distance shooting through their Serb guard Ivan Mitrovic they managed to close off the first quarter just a point away, 24-25. The first minutes of the second quarter witnessed a tit-for-tat as an initial 11-2 Floriana run was thwarted shortly afterwards with an 11-4 Starlites run with Jacob Formosa grabbing most of the points. Yet, in the final moments of the first half, points from Patus and centre player Anton Axiaq helped Floriana open a double digit interval lead 50-37. The third quarter was similar to the initial quarter with Floriana again extending their lead but Starlites managing to be more accurate in the final moments through their Serb duo Mitrovic and Nikola Stankovic to make it an 8 point game, 79-67, with the last quarter to play. Starlites tried their best to continue gnawing into their point deficit and momentarily they did so, only for Floriana to strike back with determination and register an important 16-2 run, mostly through the consistent Patus, Shawn Pace and Nikola Vasovic to definitely settle the issue in the greens' favour.
Starlites: I. Mitrovic 27, M. Azzopardi, L. Vella, A. Schembri 4, Q. Bugeja, M. Falzon, A. Felice Pace 10, Zika Stankovic, J. Formosa 21, N. Stankovic 26, M. Vella, T. Grech. Floriana MCP Car Parks: C. Patus 45, S. Pace 8, S. Borg, N. Vasovic 24, C. Calleja 6, A. Axiaq 25, N. Andrejevic. Referees: Teemu Helenius, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic, Christine Farrugia.
Gira Athleta 75 Hibernians 67 (14-22) (18-11) (22-13) (21-22)
A 19-5 Gzira Athleta run in the second part of the third quarter was the turning point in this entertaining game as Gzira Athleta overturned a 35-41 deficit to a 54-46 lead by the end of the same quarter. Hibs had been in the driving seat for most of the time prior to this run and then had to face a mounting task and even if they did come to just a solitary point away on two occasions, Gzira Athleta had fresh energy as they embarked on an 8 point run which put them more at ease to register their second win in the league whilst Hibs are still searching for the first success. Pivot player duo Alvaro Lizaur/Marco Matijevic helped Hibs open an early 16-6 lead which they maintained till the end of the first quarter at 22-14. An 8-0 run, all through accurate shooting from Josiah Whitehead, helped Gzira Athleta take the lead for the first time 29-28 after 19 minutes of play but a late Lizaur trey re-established Hibs lead at 33-32 at half time. The third quarter was characterized by Gzira Athleta's late 19-5 run with Michael Naudi also contributing to the points. The game increased in excitement in the last quarter as Hibs came back fighting to get level with their opponents. They came very close twice at 57-58 and 60-61 but an 8-0 run, with two Peter Shoults baskets, helped Gzira Athleta widen their lead again. Despite Hibs' last attempts, Gzira Athleta kept their composure from the free throw line to ascertain themselves of the sin.
Gira Athleta: M. Naudi 19, R. Vella 10, L. Stefanovic, P. Shoults 13, F. Mifsud Bonnici, B. Zammit 3, J. Bos, S. Vincic, M. G. Montaldo, J. Whitehead 30. Hibernians: P. Attard, M. Houmpton, E. Xuereb, L. Farrugia 11, S. Attard, I. Bonett 2, K. Sultana, A. Micallef 15, M. Matijevic 23, S. Vella, F. Mariani 2, A. Lizaur 15. Referees: Gordon Barbara, Bernard Vassallo, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic.
A strong Cynergi Depiro performance in the third quarter was what separated these two sides in this BOV League encounter. In fact, the first half was a balanced affair and BUPA Luxol even changed ends leading with 3 points. Yet a 22-8 third quarter was instrumental for Depiro to open a double digit lead which they controlled till the final buzzer. A continuous tit-for-tat characterized the first quarter with Depiro having most of the lead and Luxol always coming back to level to score with the quarter ending at 20-20. Luxol, missing their Swede Ahlberg for this match, had a good start in the second quarter with six consecutive points through Pierce Cumpstone and CJ Cordina. Depiro managed to stay in the game through three long distance shots from Kurt Xuereb but a late Cordina hoop helped Luxol close the half 34-31 ahead. There were early treys by Cordina and JP Schembri for Luxol in the third quarter but Depiro hit back strongly through DJ Mason and later had three treys from Andrew Aquilina to go 53-42 in the lead with ten minutes to go. Depiro extended their lead in the final quarter as play became more open.
Cynergi Depiro: N. Grech 4, D. Bugeja 9, R. Bonnici, D. Schembri, A. Aquilina 15, DJ Mason 23 , T. Zammit 3, M. Mallia, A. Queiros, K. Xuereb 12, M. Borg, D. Scafidi 6. Bupa Luxol: CJ Cordina 20, D. Meli, J. Maistre Melillo, JP Schembri 9, K. Dimech 9, P. Cumpstone 17, S. Cappello 2. Referees: Christine Farrugia, Teemu Helenius, 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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