Dominant win for Kosovo over Malta’s boys
Following Malta’s win in the women’s game, the day became bittersweet as Malta’s men’s team fell to Kosovo with a 103-53 score in the opening fixture of the U16 European Championship Division C on Wednesday.
Kosovo, on home court, banked on a super first quarter in which they put up 24 points and held Malta to just six. They continued in this manner with 20+ points in each quarter, going as far as hitting Malta for 31 in the third quarter.
It looked like a balanced encounter in the opening minutes but once Malta reached four points, the team looked stuck as Kosovo continued to build and their lead grew to a point where they lead by 17 before Malta made its next layup through Sebastian Pace – the team’s last point of the quarter as Kosovo pressed on.
But the worst was still to come as Kosovo’s accuracy from two-point range brought them to an enormous 51 lead at one point in the game. Malta had their positive spurts, going on an 8-0 run themselves but they suffered on all fronts and will be hoping to turn things around in their next game on Friday against Andorra (12.30).
Starlites’ Pace was Malta’s top scorer with 19 points. He added two rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Rounding up the double-digit scoring was Luke Attard who put up 14 points. Kosovo led the rebounds, but Malcolm Buttigieg de Piro was Malta’s closest response with six boards.
For Kosovo, Yll Kastrati led the game in scoring with 26 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Mal Tusuni followed with 17 points. He made it a double-double with 13 rebounds while dishing out three assists. Lis Binishi scored 14 points, adding seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Enes Gashi rounded off the 10+ point scorers with 11 points in 10 minutes.
Were Malta to win on Friday, this keeps Omar Said’s clan in contention for a semifinal spot. If not, they’d be looking at a Classification group to determine a 5-9 placing.
L. Binishi 14, S. Rama 2, E. Abazxhik 9, E. Mullaliu 9, E. Gashi 11, A. Krasniqi 2, D. Tafilaj 4, B. Basha 3, Y. Kastrati 26, H. Corovic 5, M. Tusuni 17, V. Haliti 1.
S. Pace 19, L. Attard 14, K. Fabri 4, S. Ransley, K. Deguara 9, K. Galea, M. Buttigieg de Piro 2, K. Fabri, M. Sammut 1, M. Micallef 2, M. Rieger, J. Dimech 2.
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