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Watch: Malta finish fourth at FIBA women’s U-16 European Championships Division C

Malta's Sarah Fenech Pace controls the ball during a play against Georgia. Photo: FIBA

Defeat against Georgia in bronze-medal game

MALTA              46

GEORGIA         51

(10-9, 8-16, 15-13, 13-13)

Malta ended their commitments in this year’s FIBA Under-16 women’s European Championships Division C tournament on Sunday with a close 51-46 defeat to Georgia in the bronze-medal game.

It was an affair that had no less than six lead changes but ultimately while Malta were the most accurate side of the two on offence, Georgia’s defence was the difference-maker on the day. In fact, the Georgians lead in steals and blocks, forcing 32 Malta turnovers and making 29 points out of them.

It was also a battle between two favourites for the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award – Vanya Baldacchino and Salome Svani. The Georgian outscored the Maltese this time around but was her team’s only double-digit scorer with 24 points. She added five rebounds and made five steals.

On the other hand, Baldacchino scored 18 points, finishing with a double-double after 10 rebounds. Sarah Sciberras put up 11 points and five steals, while Sarah Fenech Pace was close to double digits with nine points and an impressive 19 rebounds.

The game had a particularly balanced opening and unlike the two sides’ previous meeting in the group stage, Georgia were never far away, ending the first quarter 10-9. This was a clear indicator of the low-scoring game about to ensue. In fact, while in the first encounter Malta had finished with close to 20 points each quarter, 15 was the highest they could reach – in the third quarter – throughout the game.

The second quarter saw Malta suffer due to various missed attempts as Georgia took the lead and began to push the gap between the sides, finishing ahead by seven points by the end of the half.

The change of ends brought a certain pace to Malta’s game as they began to get back towards retaking their advantage. In fact, with 48 seconds remaining in the quarter, Malta were level at 33-33 but Georgia replied with two points from Svani, the latter making a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Georgia a five-point lead before the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was non-stop pressure on Malta and with seven minutes left they were set back further as Georgia stretched the margin to 10 points. Gebbia’s clan managed to bring it down to eight with the final 1.24 to go. Shanice Farrugia made it five with a three-ball but Svani made it an impossible task with a pair of made freethows in the last 18 seconds of the game. Baldacchino put up another two points but it was too late as Georgia took bronze at the final buzzer.


V. Baldacchino 18, A. De Martino, S. Farrugia 8, J. Said, S. Scibeeras 11, E. Abela, G. Carabott, S. Fenech Pace 9, R. Fenech Pace, Y. ferrando, J. Formosa, P. Riolo.


L. Abramishvili 5, A. Gelashvili 3, L. Motskobili 4, S. Svani 24, A. Tugushi 4, N. Ebralidze, E. Gagnidze, E. Niguriani, N. Sabadashvili 7, G. Sharikadze 3, L. Tkesheliadze 1, N. Ugrekhelidze.

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