Resilient Siġġiewi capture first title
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Resilient Siġġiewi capture first title

Hibs Medsea make it five in a row

Siġġiewi players and fans celebrate their title success yesterday. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Siġġiewi players and fans celebrate their title success yesterday. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Athleta Compleet 57

Siġġiewi 62

(12-12, 18-13, 15-8, 12-29)

Siġġiewi Kent Boringer yesterday clinched their first league title after edging Athleta Compleet IS 62-57 in the third and decisive game of this season's play-off series.

Having bounced back from their first-game loss with a 56-51 victory in game two, Siġġiewi yesterday produced another spirited comeback in the final quarter to see off the challenge of their faltering opponents and end their title drought.

Siġġiewi's better start to the match gave them an early six-point lead but Athleta raised their game to go 10 points clear midway into the second quarter.

Peter Farrugia's men re-grouped to narrow the deficit to five points, 30-25, by half-time but their recovery was cut short by Athleta who regained the initiative to start the final session 45-33 ahead.

With their title chances fizzling out, Siġġiewi gained a timely boost in the shape of two three-pointers by Karl Borg and Peter Shoults.

Siġġiewi recaptured their best form at the right time as they moved to within a basket of Athleta, 49-47, by the fourth minute of the last quarter.

Another three-pointer by Borg put Siġġiewi in the driving seat and with Athleta unable to summon the energy and resilience to battle back, the yellow-reds increased their lead to secure the title. Siġġiewi succeed BUPA Luxol as national champions.

Adrian Micallef and Marco Matjevic were Siġġiewi's top scorers with 16 points. For Athleta, Omar Said and Addison Bonnici also chalked up 16 points.

After the match, Antonio Mizzi, the president of the Malta Basketball Association, presented the league trophy to John Doughty, the Siġġiewi captain, amid the joyous celebrations of the winning team's players, officials and fans at the Ta' Qali pavilion.

Athleta: M. Naudi 15, J. Naudi, E. Bezzina 3, M. Giusti, C. Galea, O. Said 16, C. Calleja, A. Bonnici 16, J. Zammit, S. Cassar 7.

Siġġiewi: P. Shoults 10, J.P. Antoncich, L. Camilleri 6, J. Doughty, E. Xuereb, A. Tabone 3, K. Borg 11, A. Micallef 16, D. Ross, A. Costa, J. Jetsen, M. Matjevic 16.

Referees: B. Vassallo, G. Barbara, J.P. Sammut.

Women's final

Luxol 40

Hibs Medsea 54

(13-10, 12-20, 6-3, 9-21)

Hibs Medsea maintained their grip on the women's league trophy after winning their fifth consecutive title thanks to a 54-40 victory over Luxol in game three of the final yesterday.

The lead changed hands several times in the first 15 minutes of yesterday's game but Hibs hit a fine patch towards the end of the second session to take a 30-25 half-time lead.

A low-scoring, error-strewn third session went Luxol's way, 6-3, but Hibs regained their composure in the final 10 minutes to pull eight points clear of their opponents, 43-35.

As Luxol failed to make a reaction, Hibs easily administered their advantage to claim the league title for the 14th time in their history.

Hibs' captain Lucienne Bezzina topped the scoring with 14 points.

Luxol: E. Moore 10, M. Sciortino 8, L. Serge, B. Naudi, S. DeMartino 8, P. Ellul, D. Muscat 4, L. Chetcuti, T. DeMartino, B. Zammit 10.

Hibs: E. Micallef, D. Cassar, E. Cassar, L. Bezzina 14, F. Tabone, D. Micallef 6, A. Darmanin 8, N. Arrigo 4, K. Micallef 12, J. Cardona 10, N. Xuereb.

Referees: E. Mangani, A. Carbonaro.

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