Athleta outclass Luxol to reach final
Athleta A to Z Electronics 81
BUPA Luxol 51
(22-8, 14-9, 19-18, 26-16)
More was expected from BUPA Luxol after their improved performances of late but Athleta lived up to their billing as favourites to reach the BOV KO final against Siġġiewi Derby and never allowed their rivals time and space to manoeuvre.
Athleta’s strong start unsettled Luxol in no small way.
John Tabone’s men were clearly finding it difficult to conclude their attacks and, perhaps, beat Athleta for the first time this season. They had to wait until the sixth minute to post their first points but by that time, Athleta had already moved significantly ahead.
After opening their account, Luxol settled down but they were still unable to disrupt Athleta’s momentum as the latter ended the first quarter 22-8 in front.
Athleta were back on top as the second session got underway, stretching their advantage to 21 points, 31-10, after five minutes.
Luxol came through this difficult path but they could never get close to Athleta who changed ends 36-17 to the good.
Luxol tried to put Athleta under pressure after the break only for Athleta to stand firm and start the last 10 minutes with a comfortable 20-point lead, 55-35.
With the tie as good as over, both coaches took the opportunity to introduce some fringe players as the superior Athleta, again marshalled by the free-scoring Michael Naudi, cruised to an easy win.
Athleta: M. Naudi 22, J. Zammit, D. Schembri 17, E. Bezzina 5, C. Galea 3, O. Said 10, A. Bonnici 12, K. Baldacchino 12.
Luxol: J. Cordina, M. Mercieca 10, R. Azzopardi, A. Micallef Trigona, P. Apcev 11, A. Costa, N. Vasovic 5, T. Paris 2, A. Cremona 5, E. Caruana Montaldo, J.P. Bonnici 18, S. Capello.
Referees: G. Barbara, E. Mangani, J.P. Sammut.
Tomorrow: Men’s League (Phase Two) 19.45 Siġġiewi vs Luxol.
Thursday: Detur Super Cup (preliminary round) 19.45 Depiro vs Loyola.
Sunday: Men’s League 14.30 Athleta vs Siġġiewi. Women’s League final (game one) 16.15 Luxol vs Hibs.