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Watch: Malta centre Deguara shown recognition by former NBA champion ahead of new season

Sam Deguara (right) attempts to block a Dwight Howard shot.

Deguara, Howard faced each other in Taiwan championship

Malta international basketball player Samuel Deguara is known worldwide for his size as a centre. The 7’7 player who now plies his trade in Taiwan has been Malta’s go-to under the hoop and a necessity for teams, particularly in Asia. 

On Wednesday however, Deguara had another testimonial to show as former NBA champion Dwight Howard featured him on his socials.

The Instagram video captioned “This is what I was dealing with in Taiwan” showed Deguara exclusively, while saying that the Malta centre had ‘made him look short’.

The 6’11 former US international and Deguara had crossed swords when they both played in Taiwan’s T1 League last season. 

Howard, who won his only NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 when the finals were played in the Las Vegas bubble, left the Lakers in 2022 after numerous accolades as well as an Olympic gold medal with the US back in 2008.

After that, he joined the Taoyuan Leopards and was named rebounding leader of the league. He was also a T1 league All-Star and All-Star game MVP before making it to the T1 first team and All-defensive first team by the end of the campaign. In spite of all this, the Leopards failed to make the playoffs.

The NBA’s number one pick of 2004 has been linked to a return to the NBA after saying he would like to retire at the Orlando Magic, the team that had drafted him 19 years ago.

Meanwhile, Deguara and the Tainan GhostHawks are preparing for the new season with preseason fixtures coming this month. 

Deguara, who was part of Malta’s squad back in May at the Games of the Small States of Europe, returned to Taiwan after a stint in Hong Kong with the Hong Kong Golden Bulls. 

The GhostHawks face the New Taipei DEA on Friday in their preseason matchup before the regular season begins later in the month.

Last season, the GhostHawks fell in the finals against the same New Taipei side who claimed victory with a clean sweep of 4-0 in May. Back then, Deguara averaged 20.9 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. 

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