Defeats to Andorra, San Marino
Malta suffered two straight defeats against Andorra and San Marino in the fifth-ninth place classification group at the FIBA Under-18 European Championships in Azerbaijan on Friday and Saturday.
This means they will be vying for eighth place with a final fixture against Gibraltar onSunday (tip-off:12.00).
SAN MARINO 61
(16-15, 19-16, 4-16, 22-8)
Malta fell to San Marino 61-55 on Saturday in their second game, after having suffered a 64-49 defeat to Andorra on Friday.
It was a close affair between the two sides with the second half blowing the game wide open on both ends of the court.
Rebounds were San Marino’s aid on the day as they led the boards 61-45 and this eventually helped them score 16 second-chance points, while keeping Malta at just four. Malta however, were better poised to stop seven layups through blocks.
Connor James regained his scoring and led the Maltese players with 19 points and nine rebounds. Isaac Xuereb followed with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, Adam Azzopardi adding 10 and five rebounds.
Mathias Cadiman led the game in scoring with 24 points on the day, finishing with 19 rebounds for a double-double. Lorenzo Lettoli added 17 and 10 rebounds for another double-double, and Thomas Gasperonio rounded the double-digits with 10 points and six rebounds.
The first half was as balanced as ever, with both teams answering each other’s advances and the gap never getting past three points, particularly in the first quarter.
The second half however, brought about waves of offence with Malta overturning a four-point margin from the first half, putting up 16 points and holding San Marino to just four after the change of ends.
However, the Maltese were made to pay in the final rubber as San Marino had an accurate run slamming 22 points past the Maltese in what seems to have been a common scenario throughout the competition as Malta failed to keep composure at the business end of the game.
F. Galeotti, N. Marcattili, L. Lettoli 17, N. Gennari, N. Bollini, P. Conforti, T. Botteghi 6, M. Cadiman 24, M. Bianchi 2, L. Zavoli 2, M. Pagliarani, T. Gasparoni 10.
S. Pace 2, J. Ellul Dowling, M. Sciberras 4, A. Azzopardi 10, C. James 19, I. Xuereb 11, A. Trapani 5, S. Kenely, A. Sultana 4, M. Buttigieg de Piro.
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