Caffe Moak Luxol 57
Gżira Athleta 53

(14-10, 21-22, 8-12, 14-9)

The St James Hospital Knock Out trophy returned to Caffe Moak Luxol after a span of three years when they beat Gżira Athleta in a close and entertaining final  at the Ta’ Qali Pavilion yesterday.

The match was characterised with a 6-0 run, midway through the last quarter, which proved very influential in Luxol’s triumph.

This was Luxol’s ninth Knock Out success in history and will surely serve them as a significant morale booster in the race for the league title.

Luxol were pratically always in the lead, save the initial minutes and in certain moments late in the third quarter.

Points were not plentiful at the start of the game as the two sides were visibly tense for the final. But the scoreline started gaining momentum in the second quarter with Luxol having their guard Sarah Pace, forward Stef Demartino and their import centre Attirah Munir well into the action.

On the other hand, Gżira Athleta, who were searching for their third KO success, replied with long distance shots as well as hoops from their dangerous duo Christina Grima and Amelia Simmons to open a one-point advantage, 44-43, at the start of the last quarter.

With the score 47-46, Luxol burst in with a triple basket run.

With time running out, Gżira Athleta did not manage to come back and Luxol’s players celebrated the victory at the final buzzer.

Luxol’s guard Sarah Pace was voted the Most Valuable Player of the final.

MBA secretary general Joseph Muscat presented the St James Hospital KO trophy to Luxol’s Demartino.

Luxol: S. Pace 10, A. Mercieca 7, A. Munir 20, I. Baena Medina 7, N. Vella, S. Demartino 10, K. Portelli, C. Sollami, P. Ellul, L. Caruana Montaldo, M. Darmanin, C. Curmi 3.

Gżira: M. Stefanovic 8, C. Grima 18, B. Zammit 6, S. Pisani, L. Sciberras 4, A. Simmons 17, D. Said Hollier, A. Borg, J. Schembri, S. Vella, C. Mifsud.

Refs: B. Vassallo, E. Mangani, Z. Dobrosavljevic.

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