Depiro boost hopes, Siġġiewi reach semis

  • Siġġiewi’s Marco Matijevic attempts a basket during the win over Loyola. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

    Siġġiewi’s Marco Matijevic attempts a basket during the win over Loyola. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

  • Siġġiewi’s Marco Matijevic attempts a basket during the win over Loyola. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

    Siġġiewi’s Marco Matijevic attempts a basket during the win over Loyola. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Pavi Depiro 68
BUPA Luxol 57
(14-18, 17-9, 16-13, 21-17)

Depiro’s win against Luxol has improved their chances of finishing second in Group 1 and reach the semi-finals of the MBA Shield.

The Group 1 runners-up will meet Siġġiewi while the top team will face either Floriana or Loyola.

Depiro were without Etienne Bezzina while Luxol’s Edgar Caruana Montaldo stayed on the bench, with Jeff Gambin making way for Andrew Said.

The first minutes saw both sides level on points, 8-8, but Luxol then forged ahead with a 7-0 run, and a Stephen Shackleford triple.

Depiro reduced the arrears as both teams finished the session with three-pointers, C.J. Cordina for Luxol and a reply from Depiro’s Roderick Vella.

In the next period, Depiro levelled matters but the Violets went ahead again, only for Depiro to regain the lead thanks to Shawn Morgan’s points.

Nikola Vasovic netted another three-pointer for Luxol but Depiro held on to their lead. At the interval, Depiro were 31-27 in front.

After the break, Depiro had the better opening and their lead increased into double figures. Shackleford netted a second triple as his side fought back but Depiro kept a firm hold on their advantage.

Despite Vasovic’s three-pointer, when the last session got underway it was Depiro who led 47-40.

After another spell of balanced play, Luxol struck with a couple of three-pointers, by Shackleford, and Vasovic once more, to rekindle their hopes.

Depiro closed the match with an 8-0 run before Vasovic collected his fourth trey.

Depiro’s Morgan scored 26 points and Adrian Micallef chipped in with 13.

Shackleford and Vasovic replied for Luxol, with 18 and 17 points respectively.

Depiro: R. Vella 6, J.P. Schembri, N. Sultana 9, A. Aquilina 3, A. Portelli 7, D. Agius, A. Micallef 13, E. Lupo, M. Mallia, I. Tanti 4, S. Morgan 26.

Luxol: C.J. Cardona 10, M. Mercieca 9, J. Willoughby, A. Said, S. Shackleford 18, N. Andrejevic, N. Vasovic 17, T. Paris, E. Bonello, J.P. Bonnici 3, S. Cappello.

Referees: B. Vassallo, G. Barbara, S. Gouder.

Siġġiewi 65
Tata Motors Loyola 38
(17-2, 20-15, 16-10, 12-11)

With their second victory, Siġġiewi have secured top spot in Group 2 and a place in the MBA Shield semi-finals.

Despite having an eight-man squad for the game, Siġġiewi were superior to Loyola who were missing Sean Borg.

New signings Lee Ross, for Siġġiewi, and Kenyale Evans, for Loyola, have yet to make their first appearance.

Siġġiewi’s solid start unnerved Loyola as they won the opening quarter 17-2 with Marco Matijevic netting a triple.

The second period was better, on points. Siġġiewi began by leaving their opponents further behind but Loyola finally reacted as they shared play for some time, with Stefan Vella putting in a three-pointer.

Siġġiewi regained the upper-hand in the late stages to go 37-17 in front at the interval.

After the break, Loyola had no respite as Siġġiewi kept up the pressure. When Loyola started to show signs of recovery, with their hoops, Clayton Agius produced a late triple for Siġġiewi who started the last session 53-27 ahead.

Loyola’s first points simply spurred Siġġiewi on as these managed a 9-2 run before Clint Cassar hit a three-pointer for Loyola. The latter potted more points until the end of the match but Siġġiewi had long sealed their win.

Matijevic hit 21 points for Siġġiewi while Vella had 12 for Loyola.

Siġġiewi: R. Agius, L. Camilleri 11, P. Shoults 13, E. Xuereb 3,C. Agius 5, A. Borg 4, C. Meier 8, M. Matijevic 21.

Loyola: V. Nikolic, B. Zammit, M. Grech 2, C. Cassar 3, L. Azzopardi 2, S. Vella 12, A. Axiaq 9, J.P. Azzopardi 6, D. Pisani, J. Ransley 4.

Referees: E. Mangani, A. Carbonaro, S. Gouder.

Next fixtures (Tal-Qroqq)
Sunday: MBA Shield (Women) 11.15 Hibs vs Starlites; 13.00 Qormi vs Luxol. 16.30 Athleta vs Loyola. (Men) 14.45 Luxol vs Athleta; 18.15 Loyola vs Floriana.


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