BUPA Luxol close in on series victory
(14-18, 17-30, 28-35, 19-30)
BUPA Luxol opened a two game lead in the 2017 finals series against Floriana MCP Car Parks and are just a win away from being crowned the BOV League champions.
After an eight-point game in the first encounter of the series, Game Two ended with a wider margin as Luxol imposed their superior height advantage with towering Samuel Deguara dominating underneath the boards, to finish with a personal tally of 47 points.
Although Luxol set off with the game’s first seven points, through Pierce Cumpstone and Deguara, Floriana managed to remain in touch till the end of the first quarter setting off with points from Dirk Schembri, who had a superb personal offensive performance on the day.
Further points from Chad Patus helped the Greens to limit the damage and end the first quarter 18-14 behind.
A William Ahlberg trey set off a Luxol 15-3 break early in the second quarter as Deguara continued to thrive underneath the boards.
Patus tried to regroup his team-mates with two shots from long distance but Luxol moved on to a 48-31 half-time lead.
Play became more open in the second half with less defensive pressure. Both sides replied to each other’s offensive efforts in the third quarter.
With Deguara continuing to be an influential factor, youngster Keith Dimech had two shots from downtown for Luxol whilst Ahlberg and Cumpstone were administering the ball around.
Floriana were doing their best to keep with the pace. Patus was the main play caller, Schembri continued with his precise shooting from mid-range and Aaron Axiaq also had a trey.
However there was a 24-point margin between the two finalists with one quarter to go.
A 10-2 mid-quarter Luxol break moved them closer to the century mark which was achieved through a CJ Cordina hoop. This was followed by three consecutive treys as Luxol strolled to a comfortable win.
Game Three will be played on Sunday at 4.30pm.
Floriana: C. Patus 31, D. Schembri 23, S. Borg 5, D. Agius, N. Vasovic 6, C. Calleja 4, A. Axiaq 7, A. Micallef Trigona 2, N. Andrejevic.
Luxol: CJ Cordina 7, M. Mercieca 4, M. Sjoberg, J. Maistre, JP Schembri 2, K. Dimech 12, W. Ahlberg 19, P. Cumpstone 22, S. Deguara 47, S. Cappello.
Referees: B. Vassallo, G. Barbara, C. Farrugia.