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Watch: Malta women suffer heartbreak in FIBA U16 European Championships

Malta's Sarah Sciberras (right) dribbles towards the hoop against Andorra. Photo: FIBA

To play for third-place game on Sunday



(17-6, 4-9, 10-12, 3-9)

Malta’s women suffered a heart-breaking defeat to host country Andorra in the semifinal of the FIBA Under-16 European Championships Division C on Saturday.

It was a test of Malta’s strength under pressure which Giovanni Gebbia’s side did not manage to overcome this time around, after having won every game in the running up to this knockout tie.

While it was Malta who started on the front foot, Andorra caught up and made them pay for offensive mistakes. In fact, Andorra made more than half of their points through fast breaks and despite Malta making nearly double as many rebounds, 16 Andorran steals and other turnovers from the Maltese proved costly in the end.

Sarah Fenech Pace led Malta’s scoring on Saturday with 13 points as well as a massive 21 rebounds to finish with a double-double, ending the game as the side’s only double-digit scorer as well. She was, however, hindered by foul trouble which kept her out of the final minutes of the final quarter.

Andorra’s Andrea Cobo was her side’s top scorer also with 13 points, adding seven rebounds. Ares Guiu made up to grab 10 boards.

Malta started off with their usual prowess, holding Andorra to just six points while putting up 17 in the opening minutes. However, the second quarter was a different story as numerous turnovers and shot clock violations helped the tournament hosts to catch up and were within four with three minutes remaining in the half. Malta struck back to make it six before the break.

The second half looked more balanced as both sides made trouble for one another, Andorra going as close as four points behind. The fourth quarter needed focus but missed attempts were on the menu for both teams with the four out of the first six points coming from the line.

Two Andorra fast breaks brought the game to parity as Malta began to struggle to maintain their lead with a minute of the final quarter to go. With 30 seconds to go, Andorra took their first lead to break Malta’s hearts and head to the final.

Malta now plays on Sunday (tip-off: 5pm) in the third-place game against the loser of the other semifinal between Azerbaijan and Georgia being played later on Saturday.


V. Baldacchino 7, S. Farrugia 5, Y. Ferrando 2, J. Said 2, S. Sciberras 2, E. Abela, G. Carabott, A. De Martino, S. Fenech Pace 13, R. Fenech Pace, J. Formosa, P. Riolo.


A. Cobo 13, A. Perez 2, A. Guiu 4, J. herce 2, C. Puig 5, N. Palau, A. Navarro 7, M. Pascuet, A. Ambor, A. Lopez, A. Rey 3, L. Losada.

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