Tough start to GSSE life in opening fixtures
In the 3×3 event which tipped off on Wednesday, Malta made a troubled debut on homecourt in both the men’s and women’s competition. However, history was made nonetheless when the men’s side registered Malta’s first-ever win at the Games.
The women took the court first to face Cyprus and it was the visitors who dominated the opening stages against Malta’s players. However, the outlook changed as the game wore on and Malta took the lead midway through the encounter. In spite of this, points in the final minutes meant Cyprus took the game 15-14 at the final buzzer.
Luxembourg came next against Malta and this time, they proved too strong for the Maltese women and they won the game after the 21-point scoreline was reached for a final score of 21-8 after a commanding display.
In their final group stage game, Malta were denied again, this time 21-18 by Andorra. This means they finish their first-round commitments in fourth place. They will face the top seed on Thursday in the semifinal round.
For the men, it was a case of defeat by points as Malta lost 21-9 to Luxembourg in their opening fixture. Similarly to the women, Luxembourg will be one of the tournament favourites and this showed immediately as they put in a dominant performance.
Malta faced Cyprus next in the men’s game and the crowd erupted with jubilation when Vule Jandric hit a crucial two-pointer to give Malta their first 21-point victory for a final score of 21-18.
With a win in three, the Malta players attempted to get closer to a better seed in the knockout stages. However, they suffered another 21-17 defeat against Andorra in their final game of the day. This means that the team will most definitely need a win against Monaco in their final group game.
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