FIBA European Men Championship for Small Countries
Malta 76 – Ireland 65
(22-19, 15-18, 19-14, 20-14)
Following the first day’s convincing 96-64 win over Andorra, Malta made it back-to-back wins in Group A in the FIBA European Championship for small countries being played in San Marino.
The locals beat Ireland to secure the top spot in the group and a definite place in the semifinals to be played on Saturday.
In a very physical and intense game against a strong Ireland team, Malta started on a good note. Yet the Irish managed to reply consistently to every effort by Malta and the score was tied at 37-37 at half time.
In the third quarter Malta took a five point lead, thanks also to a spectacular dunk by Aaron Falzon. This gave a much needed boost to the team and points from Samuel Deguara, Kurt Cassar and Tevin Falzon opened a good ten point lead.
Ireland did try to stage a comeback with their spirit of not giving up but the Maltese team lead by Andrea Paccariè controlled well the tempo and closed the game with an eleven point winning margin.
Malta: R. Vella 3, D. Bugeja 2, S. Pace, K. Xuereb, P. Shoults 2, K. Dimech, T. Falzon 11, J. Formosa 7, A. Falzon 22, M. Gouder, K. Cassar 16, S. Deguara 13.
Link to the official FIBA game statistics