Summer 2016 has resulted in a successful season for the local women basketball sector after the Under 16 national team, this weekend, managed to win the bronze medal in the FIBA European Under 16 Girls Championships Division C played in Andorra.
Following Malta’s senior women magical gold medal on in Gibraltar, three weeks ago, and the Under 18’s side bronze medal in Tbilisi last week, the Malta Basketball Association is very proud to have its women sides all going up on the podium in each respective European Championship.
In Andorra, Malta had a strong performance, 37-13, in the second half of the bronze medal match against Kosovo (for game stats and other info click here) to register a convincing 61-28 win, not only to avenge the opening day tight score overtime defeat 57-58 against the same opponents but also to go up onto the podium and get the bronze medal.
In fact, Malta, under the lead of coach Sandro Farrugia assisted by Maria Agius, had started with a 57-58 defeat in overtime versus Kosovo (for the game stats and other info click here) but then recovered well to beat Wales, on the following day 54-20 (for the game stats and other info click here).
A further success the day after, this time beating Gibraltar 70-41 (for the game stats and other info click here), meant that the Malta young ladies qualified for the semi-finals.
Here they faced the tournament favourites Georgia led by the championship’s MVP Natalia Otkhmezuri who incidentally was also the MVP in the Under 18 championships a week ago in Tbilisi. Malta tried hard but had to succumb to a 47-67 defeat to Georgia, the eventual gold medal winners (for the game stats and other info click here).
This meant that Malta had to play for bronze against Kosovo and the Malta girls did not disappoint. The team was made up of Kristy Galea, Lena Ferrante, Kaya Calleja, Jasmine Abela, Michela Zammit Cordina, Britney Agius, Jaelle Micallef, Christine Borg Millo, Anthea Micallef, Neve Borg, Kirsty Caruana and Katya Zerafa. The team’s full average stats of the championship can be viewed by clicking here.
Worthy also of mention is the fact that Malta’s Kristy Galea was chosen amongst the championship’s All-Star Five. Thus, Malta had a total of five female players chosen in the All-Star Five in their respective championships with Christina Grima winning the MVP award in the seniors and was also joined by Josephine Grima in the top five, Sophie Abela and Hannah Al Tumi were selected in the Under 18s and now Galea in the Under 16s.
In the meantime, the Malta boys Under 16 finished in the fifth place in the FIBA Under 16 European Championships Division C played in Nicosia, Cyprus last week.
Malta started with a 65-63 win over Wales (for stats and info click here) but then lost to the hosts Cyprus and eventual gold medal winners 43-72 (for stats and info click here) on the following day. However they then reacted well and beat San Marino with a tight 58-57 score line (for stats and info click here).
The next game was against the eventual silver medallists of the championships Azerbaijan and here the tall Azeris team beat Malta 81-33 (for stats and info click here) and the local lads ended third in Group A and had to play for the 5th to 8th classification.
The Malta team, coached by Kristin Baldacchino and assisted by Ruben Baldacchino was composed of Myron Jose Agius, Matthew Scerri, Keith Dimech, Ian Felice Pace, Miguel Vella, Nathan Xuereb, Rueben Xuereb, Michele Laferla, Nicholas Formosa, Matthias Buhagiar, Alex Xuereb and Ryan Zammit.