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Malta men’s basketball team to play for gold in FIBA Championship for Small Countries

Malta's Kurt Cassar battles for the ball against Gibraltar. Photo: FIBA

The Malta men’s basketball national team will contest for the gold medal at the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries when they edged past Gibraltar 85-79 in La Vella, Andorra on Saturday.

Duncan Fenech’s side thus avenged their group defeat suffered at the hands of Gibraltar earlier in the tournament and will now contest the gold medal final against either Andorra or San Marino on Sunday.

Samuel Deguara turned out to be the real difference between the two sides as the towering player made all the difference as his dominant presence underneath the boards swayed the semi-final in favour of the Maltese

In fact, Deguara ended as the game’s scorer on 25 points.

The Maltese edged a tight first session 21-20 but then Deguara grew in stature underneath the boards as is successful rebound attempts enabled them to head into the half-time interval ten points clear – 46-36.

Gibraltar tried to fight back reduced the gap to seven points before the start of the final quarter.

The last 10 minutes turned out to be a scrap with Gibraltar coming as close to three points but the Maltese held their nerve to take a 85-79 victory.

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