Rossini punishes MaltaThursday, July 5, 2012, 15:14
A buzzer shot by Rossini gave San Marinoa victory against Malta 71-69 in the last game of the group phase. Malta placed second in Group B will now face Andorra in the semifinal.
Malta opened strong to get a 9-2 lead in the first 2 minutes of the game. San Marinoplayed some aggressive defence and with an 8-0 run they turned the score to take the lead for the first time 10-9.
Close to the end of the quarter free-throws by Josh Jackson gave an advantage to Malta13-12. In the start of the second quarter Malta increased the lead 20-12 but San Marino recovered again and reduced the gap to 1 point 25-24.
They continued to shoot well to take the lead 33-31 however in the last seconds, free-throws by Bonnici and Jacksonsaw Maltagoing for the break 34-33 ahead. The third quarter opened with a 12-4 run by Malta for a 43-37 lead.
San Marino managed to reduce the gap again however there were treys by Omar Said and Roderick Vella and Malta started the last minute 52-46 ahead. Malta maintained the lead till the end of the quarter 56-48. San Marino started the last session with two consecutive three pointers. With Samuel Deguara back on court, Malta held on to the lead 64-58 half way through the last session. More treys by San Marino kept them close to the Maltese side and they managed to level the score with 27 seconds to the end 69-69.
After a time-out, Malta lost Deguara on his fifth foul and San Marino had the last possession of the game and Rossini scored the last basket of the game to give the home team their second victory of the tournament. Jackson was Malta’s top scorer with 21 points and Deguara scored 17.
Malta’s semi-final will be played Friday 6th July at 17:15.