Men National Team in final for the first time ever

Friday, July 11, 2014, 22:00

Colin Schembri

 

Malta obtained a historic result in the FIBA Europe Small Countries European Championship reaching the final for the first time after beating San Marino 89-68 in today’s semi-final. Malta’s record so far in this competition is two bronze medals which will definitely improve after today’s match. It was a solid 12-1 run near the end of the second quarter which gave Malta a strong lead before halftime to ensure a final place. The first quarter was a balanced affair once again as expected in such stage of the competition although Malta was always in front. With 1 second to go, Darryl Jackson grabbed a three pointer for a 25-21 score. Malta increased the lead in the second session after hoops by Samuel Deguara and Nigel Sultana to open a six point advantage 31-25 in the 4th minute. In the last three minutes of the quarter, there was a 12-1 run by the Maltese team with a three pointer by Jackson and basket from Tevin Falzon and at half time the score was 49-37. Malta opened a 21 point lead in the third quarter after Falzon’s second basket 55-34. Gualtieri tried hard for San Marino but a Roderick Vella try kept Malta comfortably ahead. A Michael Naudi basket and a three pointer from Steve Schembri established again an 18 point lead for Malta 68-50. In the last session of the game there were more points from Jackson and Deguara together with David Bugeja. Anton Axiaq scored the last basket of the game as National coach Paolo Di Fonzo gave court time to all players. Malta ended on the winning side 89-68 amongst the celebrations of the Maltese contingent. Jackson was once again Malta’s leading scorer with 23 points together with 21 from Samuel Deguara who also had 13 rebounds.





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