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Luxol and Gżira set for title showdown

Caffe Moak Luxol and Gżira Athleta will kick-start the final chapter of what has been a challenging season when they face each other in Game One of the five-match play-off final series of the women’s league at the Ta’ Qali Pavilion this evening.

Paul Sultana, the president of the Malta Basketball Association, told a news conference that the final will be a sample of the quality that has been displayed throughout the regular season.

“It was a very balanced league as most of the matches were won in the final seconds,’’ Sultana said.

“The local foreigners experiment turned out to be a very positive introduction to the women’s league so all in all it has been a very satisfying campaign for our association.”

After a hard-fought season, Dr Clarence Busuttil, the chairman of Gżira Athleta’s women’s team, explained how this series represents the pinnacle of a successful campaign for both sides, who have shared all major honours so far this season.

“It will be a very challenging match for both sides, as we have already shown in our previous encounters this season,” Dr Busuttil said.

American Amelia Simmons of Athleta, in her second stint in Malta, highlighted the level of quality that was shown by every team this season, making the regular season a very competitive one.

“The margin of difference is very small and we cannot afford any mistakes if we want to lift the trophy,” Simmons said.

Luxol have turned to the experienced Santino Coppa to guide their team in the final part of this season.

The former Malta women’s coach, who will guide Thailand in the Asian Games after his short spell at Luxol, has expressed his gratitude to the MBA and Luxol for providing him another opportunity to coach in Malta.

“The playoffs are a fantastic experience, at any level you play,’’ Coppa said.

“These are matches that every player and coach wants to win and I am no different. We will give everything we have to ensure that the league trophy remains at our club.”

On her part, captain Mandy Mercieca said that she was grateful towards Coppa as he was fundamental in boosting the team and leading the roster all the way to final, midway through the season.

At the end of the  news conference, Sultana announced that the women’s national team were given the green light by the Maltese Olympic Committee to compete at the San Marino GSSE in June where they will be targeting to win a medal.

BOV Men’s League: Play-off final (game two) – BUPA Luxol vs Floriana 113-78 (Luxol lead series 2-0).

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