The most entertaining game of the weekend resulted in Starlites' second league win as they overcame Hibernians' strong resistance, with the latter still searching for their first league victory. Baskets and points were definitely not lacking in this encounter with both sides amassing a large number of shot attempts with a considerable good scoring percentage. Starlites had the lead for a substantial part of the game, even going up to a maximum 17 point lead, 92-75 with seven minutes left in the game, but Hibs, quite consistently, showed certain vigour to fight back into the game. In fact, Starlites got off to a better start as they quickly went 17-8 ahead. Their duo, Jacob Formosa and Alec Felice Pace, looked quite sharp on the day possibly also as they were just coming off an intense 3 day morning and evening training camp with the visiting Italian side Orlandina. Yet, with Hibs then having the upper edge under the boards, the Paolites came back into the game with their Spaniard post player Alvaro Lizaur grabbing a number of points. Two Stefan Vella treys even gave Hibs a momentary lead, 36-32, but Starlites' riposte were two similar long distance shots, from ex Ryan Carabott. Further points from Formosa, Felice Pace and Serb duo Nikola Stankovic (201-F-91) and Ivan Mitrovic neutralised Lizaur's and Adrian Micallef points at the other end for a high 52-48 score at the interval. Three consecutive Formosa buckets opened a double digit lead for Starlites but with Marco Matijevic coming more into the offensive fray for Hibs, the latter closed the gap, 66-70, midway in the third period only for Starlites to reply with a strong patch that had them 92-75 in front. Here Hibs' reaction was a 13-0 run in three minutes and the game was wide opne again. The gap came down twice to just 3 points but eventually Starlites were unyielding and ascertained their win with a number of late freeshots. Hibs: P. Attard 2, E. Xuereb, L. Farrugia 5, I. Bonett, K. Sultana, A. Micallef 18, M. Matijevic 22, S. Vella 8, F. Mariani, A. Lizaur 39 Starlites: I. Mitrovic 28, M. Azzopardi, L. Vella, R. Carabott 10, C. Schembri, M. Falzon, A. Felice Pace 15, N. Stankovic 19, J. Formosa 31, A. Schembri, M. Farrugia, T. Grech Referees: B. Vassallo, S. Micallef, Z. Dobrosavljevic
Gira Athleta 63 Cynergi Depiro 69 (19-14) (18-16) (16-20) (10-19)
The battle for the third league win between these two top sides resulted in a Cynergi Depiro success and they now share the top spot in the standings with Floriana. The determining moment in this encounter was a Depiro 13-2 run in the middle part of the final quarter as this run helped Depiro overturn a 7-point margin into a 4-point lead so late in the game as Gzira Athleta went quite dry in point grabbing in the final quarter. The start of the game had Gzira Athleta with a superior start racing 11-2 ahead but Depiro found refuge with consecutive treys from Dominic Scafidi (196-F) and Kurt Xuereb respectively. Josiah Whitehead and Michael Naudi reopened a Gzira Athleta 26-18 lead but again Depiro reacted and here had a 10 point run mainly through hoops from DJ Mason and Andrew Aquilina. The final moments of the first half had Gzira Athleta again showing the better offensive plays and they managed to change ends 37-30 in the lead. The thrid quarter was a balanced affair as Gzira Athleta maintained their lead with both sides continuing being a bit erratic in their free throws with misses and a low total game percentage at both ends. The last quarter had Depiro's significant 13-2 run as they also won some important offensive rebounds and points from Mason, David Bugeja and Alvaro Quiros gave them the lead. Whitehead was the only point grabber for Gzira Athleta in the final quarter. They did come back within 3 points, 63-66, but then missed four consecutive freethrows. Depiro profitted and closed the game with late freethrows from Bugeja and Scafidi for their first seasonal win over Gzira Athleta.
Gira Athleta: M. Naudi 18, R. Vella 14, D. Camilleri 4, L. Stefanovic, P. Shoults 5, F. Mifsud Bonnici, B. Zammit, S. Vincic, J. Whitehead 22. Cynergi Depiro: S. Sammut, D. Bugeja 13, R. Bonnici, D. Schembri, A. Aquilina 10, DJ Mason 24, T. Zammit, M. Mallia, A. Queiros 7, K. Xuereb 6, M. Borg, D. Scafidi 7. Referees: Emanuel Mangani, Stephen Micallef, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic.
Floriana MCP Car Parks 64 Bupa Luxol 75 (7-19) (10-19) (21-22) (26-15)
Bouyed by the introduction of the giant pivot Samuel Deguara (223-C-91), BUPA Luxol made Floriana MCP Car Parks taste their first league defeat. One of the determining factors in this game was Luxol's superiority under the boards as Deguara's towering presence contributed to a large number of rebounds at both ends. Floriana took time to settle down and Luxol had the better start with Pierce Cumpstone and William Ahlberg grabbing the initial baskets, youngster Keith Dimech notching a trey and Deguara immediatelt making his presence felt at close range. Luxol's lead imcreased to 30-7 as they also had a good start in the second quarter including baskets from Stefan Cappello and Jean Paul Schembri. Although Luxol kepot banging in their baskets, Floriana improved after a timeout and managed to share more the points having also long distance shots apart from points from Anton Axiaq who tried his best against Deguara's height advantage. The greens' best patch came midway in the final quarter when they regsitered a 14-2 run, closed off with a Nikola Andrejevic 3-pointer, that brought down the gap between both sides to 69-57. However Luxol were still in the driving seat and they controlled the final moments of the game for their second league win.
Floriana MCP Car Parks: C. Patus 7, S. Pace 8, S. Borg 7, N. Vasovic 9, C. Calleja, A. Axiaq 17, N. Andrejevic 12. Bupa Luxol: M. Mercieca 4, J. Maistre Melillo, JP Schembri 7, K. Dimech 7, W. Ahlberg 15, P. Cumpstone 22, S. Deguara 14, S. Cappello 6. Referees: Bernard Vassallo, Christine Farrugia, Zvezdan Dobrosaviljevic.
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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