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Victorious start for Luxol as Pembroke falter

Pembroke 49
Depiro Kyocera 64
(6-18, 10-12, 19-14, 14-20)

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Pembroke had Duncan Cuschieri and Tino Riolo back for this game but were surprisingly beaten by the energetic and more accurate Depiro side.

Pembroke sorely felt the absence of Kris Baldacchino who was unfit to start.

With Pembroke struggling against Depiro's zone, Adrian Mifsud's team took a commanding 18-6 lead by the end of the session. One expected the Reds to stage a quick reply but this was not the case as Depiro held a 30-16 lead at half-time.

It was only after Baldacchino appeared on court, towards the fifth minute of the third quarter, that Pembroke managed to score consecutive points and close the gap to 42-35.

Still, Pembroke were never good enough to wipe out that deficit. Their shooting, in particular, was very erratic and let the team down.

Pembroke: M. Naudi 20, J. Zammit, C. Sammut, E. Bezzina 13, J. Galea, T. Riolo, C. Calleja, A. Micallef 1, D. Cuschieri 2, K. Baldacchino 5, J. Ransley, J. Gatt 8.

Depiro: R. Vella 22, J. Vassallo, J. Rodriquez, C. Bugeja, C. Agius 5, J. Vella, M. Ciantar, J.P. Azzopardi 8, E. Lupo 17, D. Ross 10, M. Mallia 2.

Bupa Luxol 80
Siggiewi Smina 65
(21-8, 17-16, 18-23, 24-18)

Luxol opened their MBA Shield commitments with a victory over Siggiewi. From last season's squad Luxol had Andrew Cremona, Beppe Micallef Trigona and Matthew Bonnici missing while Chris Sammut was making his debut.

Siggiewi were again hampered by a slow start. They improved as the minutes ticked by but each time they closed the gap Luxol reacted strongly.

After the fifth minute, Luxol started pulling away to open a comfortable lead but Siggiewi bounced back in the second session to narrow the gap to 29-22. Luxol's last efforts before the break saw them forging ahead 38-24.

Siggiewi had the better start after the interval but Luxol hit a streak of three-pointers to start the last session 56-47 ahead.

Siggiewi tried to put pressure on their opponents but Luxol carried heavier guns on the day as their experienced players led them to victory.

Luxol: C. Sammut 19, M. Mercieca 4, R. Azzopardi 15, M. Micallef, R. Schembri, C. Pulis, R. Dalli, D. Schembri 11, E. Caruana Montaldo, S. Cassar 5, S. Schembri 26.

Siggiewi: A. Sultana 2, S. Sammut 4, L. Camilleri 18, J. Doughty 2, H. Agius, M. Barberi, P. Schultz 19, J.P. Bonnici 2, P. Ferrante, S. Sakiaan 14, A. Huizer 4, E. Xuereb.

Sunday's fixtures: 2.30 p.m. Depiro vs Luxol; 4.15 p.m. Hamrun vs Pembroke.

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