Will have to rely on other results for a chance to progress to semis
(12-27, 14-25, 10-25, 21-21)
Malta’s Under-16 men’s team suffered a second defeat on Friday at the hands of Andorra in the FIBA European Championships Division C when they lost 98-57.
It was another painful blow to Omar Said’s clan with the side now with less chance of qualifying for the semifinals of the competition as they now stand in third place of Group A with Kosovo and Gibraltar still to play in the evening. With Gibraltar unlikely to cause an upset against the hosts in their game, this would mean that Andorra and Kosovo would be all but confirmed as the groups’ semifinalists. Malta would then shift to a 5-9th place classification group starting Tuesday.
Despite the defeat, this was surely an improved showing for the Malta side as Andorra were kept at arm’s length, unlike the case in the game against Kosovo. However, once again, the group leaders were the more dominant side. While none of the teams were particularly accurate in their shooting, Andorra managed to build up a 44-point gap by the end of the game, a lead they held for 36.49 minutes of the encounter in between five lead changes.
Turnovers were an issue for the Maltese, losing the ball 41 times, with Andorra forcing 33 of those through steals. At the other end, guarding the paint proved too difficult for Malta as they conceded 66 points from close range.
Kyle Deguara led Malta’s scoring on Friday with 15 points. He made it a double-double with 11 rebounds. Following him was Malcolm Buttigieg de Piro with 14 points, nine rebounds and three steals.
Andorra had four players in double digits with Noah Huisman leading the game after scoring 24 points. Xavier Aranda added 23, five rebounds, and five steals. Marc Garcia scored 16, made seven assists, eight steals, and grabbed five boards. Biel Gallego rounded them off with 10 points and five rebounds.
Malta play Gibraltar on Monday (tip-off: 12.30) in their final group game.
S. Pace 2, L. Attard 6, K. Fabri 5, S. Ransley 2, K. Deguara 15, K. Galea 2, M. Buttigieg de Piro 14, K. Fabri, M. Sammut 9, M. Micallef, M. Rieger, J. Dimech 2.
J. Badana 5, K. Santiago 7, M. Aranda 2, M. Garcia 16, T. Munoz 5, X. Aranda 23, N. Huisman, B. Gallego 10, D. Marti 6.
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