Malta Basketball Association

The Malta Basketball Association: Historical Highlights


The Malta Basketball Association (MBA) was formed in March 1964, when the first meeting of the MBA was held at the Civil Services Sports Club, Valletta, under the chairmanship of Benny Pace.

A month later, in April 1964, the first Annual General Meeting of the Association was held at the Malta Union of Teachers Headquarters, Merchants Street, Valletta.
The MBA then moved forward to affiliate itself with the Malta Olympic Committee (MOC) in October 1964.

The final of the first Knockout Competition, played at the Polytechnic outdoor-court Msida, was played in May 1966 and won by Mundlos TC.

The first national Basketball League was played in the indoor hall of the Msida Primary School with ten teams participating. Mundlos, coached by Tony Micallef Borg, were the first League Champions in 1967. In April 1967, the first edition of the American Ambassador’s Trophy Tournament was held at the Luqa gym.  R.A.F. (Luqa) were the first winners.

The Malta Basketball Association affiliates with the International Amateur Basketball Federation (FIBA) in August 1967.

Notable Highlights

January 1968
The first referees course is organised by the MBA. Louis Borg and Tony Micallef Borg conducted the course and examined the participants.

June 1968
Anthony Falzon represented the MBA for the first time at a FIBA standing conference held in Ischia, Italy.

September 1968
Malta makes its international debut losing to Libya (29-54) in a friendly game at the Luqa gym.

September 1970
Co-founder and ex secretary of the MBA, Louis Borg is elected as the MBA president. Eddie miller (v/president), Louis Micallef (secretary) and Joe Depasquale Schranz (treasurer) were the other officials which administered and promoted Maltese basketball making it one of the most popular major sports in Malta.

October 1970
Joe Farrugia appointed the first official national coach of the association.

March 1971
The MBA organised the first under 16 league.

August 1971
MCAST become the first Maltese club side to participate in an international basketball tournament abroad. The polytechnic side participated in an international universities tournament in Holland.

December 1971
A Mini Basket project is officially launched at Stella Maris College, Gzira.

June 1972
Val Drury wins first MBA Basketball Player of the Year award.

November 1972
Tullio Paratore, a top Italian coach, was sent to Malta by CONI to conduct the first stage of a full basketball coaches course. This was the first instructional phase of a three-year course.

February 1973
Eight teams participate in the first MBA ladies national league.
The first basketball matches on an indoor full-size court are played at the large hangar at Ta’ Qali put at the disposal of the Association by the National Sports Board.

May 1974
The MBA celebrated its tenth Anniversary with an International Tournament won by a visiting Rome Selection

January 1975
The MBA President, Louis Borg, is voted as the National Official of the Year 1994

March 1975
Malta plays its first full international match with Libya at Ta’ Qali.

September 1975
Malta conducts its first tour abroad participating in the September International Tournament in Benghazi, Libya.

November 1975
Former American professional player, Charles Bennett, conducts a week’s coaching clinic for the MBA.

June 1976

Appia Catania win the first international friendship tournament organised by the MBA.

July 1976
The Malta youths participated in an international tournament in Ragusa. Charles Azzopardi (Wrangler) is voted the best player of the tournament.
The Malta ladies team participated in an international tournament in Tre Castagne near Catania.

September 1976
The Malta Under 21 side participated in the Libyan Sports festival in Tripoli.

October 1976
The top Italian international referee, Vittorio Fiorito, conducted a referee’s clinic.
The crack Russian ladies team, Spartak Leningrad played an exhibition game with a Maltese selection at Ta’ Qali.

October 1978
The opening of the new MBA headquarters at the Salesians’ Oratory in Sliema.

January 1979
Monica Moran (Cadettes Haig) is voted National Sportswoman of the Year 1978.

April 1979
The Malta national side, coached by Valentine Drury, wins three matches in a tour of Tunisia.

January 1980
The MBA general secretary, Mr. Louis Micallef is voted National Official of the Year 1979.

July 1980
Branik Maribor of Yugoslavia won the 2nd International Friendship Tournament organised by the MBA.

October 1980
Martti Huhtamaki, President of the Finnish Basketball Federation, conducted a clinic for Maltese referees.

July 1981
Branik Maribor won the 3rd International Friendship Tournament.

September 1981
Four Maltese referees, Louis Micallef, Anthony Briguglio, Louis Naudi and Louis Borg (Junior) officiate as neutral Referees in the IV Pan-Arab Basketball championship in Tunis. Louis Micallef controlled the final between Tunisia and Algeria.

April 1982
Malta organised a Qualification Tournament of the Xth European Junior Men Championships with the participation of Italy, France, Turkey, Portugal and Malta. The tournament was held at De La Salle College.

May 1982
Anthony Micallef becomes the first International Basketball referee after successfully attending the FIBA Central Clinic for International Referees held in Lausanne, Switzerland.

December 1982
FIP’s Referees Commissioner, Luigi Giordano, conducted a Clinic for local Referees.

April 1983
The Austrian club, ABC Merkur Graz, won the 4th International Tournament.

July 1983
A FIBA regional clinic for international referees was held in Malta. Twenty eight candidates from eight European countries, including six Maltese, attended the four day clinic organised by the MBA.

May 1984
An important conference “Basketball in Malta – Tomorrow” was organised by the MBA.

September 1984
Mario Blasone, staff coach of the Italian National teams, conducted a coaching course through the Olympic Solidarity.

November 1984
First international appointment for Maltese FIBA referee, Anthony Micallef.

February 1985
The MBA moves into its new administrative office in Birkirkara.

May 1985
The XXXth session of the FIBA Standing Conference is held in Malta at the Corinthia Palace Hotel, Attard.
Malta participated in the first edition of the Games for Small States of Europe held in San Marino winning the first Bronze medal for Malta. Mr. John Tabone coached the team. This was the first medal won by Malta in an official international competition.

April 1986
The new English league champions, Manchester United, organise a two-match visit in Malta.

December 1986
During a friendly international tournament for small countries hosted by the MBA, representatives from Malta, Cyprus, Iceland, Luxembourg and Wales (supported by Ireland, Gibraltar and San Marino) meet to discuss the possibility of requesting FIBA to help Small European countries to organise an official tournament.

March 1987
Louis Borg (Malta) and Rene Schiltz (Luxembourg) meet Mr. Stankovic and Mr. Pitz of FIBA to discuss the Small Nations movement.
The basketball pavilion at Ta’ Qali is leased by the government to the MBA.

April 1987
The FIBA executive committee proposes the creation of a Promotion Cup to be organised for the Small states of Europe.

May 1987
The Malta Basketball Association organised a qualification tournament of the 1987 European Youths Men Championship  with Greece, Israel, Finland and Malta participating.
The senior Malta team retains the Bronze medal in the second edition of the small nations games held in Monaco.

September 1987

Claudio Bardini, from the Italian Federation, conducts a coaching clinic in Malta.

December 1987
A new parquet floor is inaugurated by the MBA at the Ta’ Qali basketball complex.

January 1988
Mr. Louis Borg, MBA president, is voted National Official of the Year 1987

November 1988
The MBA moves to its new offices at the refurbished Ta’ Qali Basketball Complex.

December 1988
The MBA organises the first edition of the FIBA European Basketball Promotion Cup.

May 1989
Malta places fifth in the 3rd Small Nations Games held in Nicosia, Cyprus.

December 1989
Malta participates in the first edition of the “FIBA European Promotion Cup For Women “ held in Luxembourg.

January 1990
Jacqueline Schembri (Fiat) wins the “Sportsmanship Act Trophy”

August 1990
Leonard Falzon is appointed as a FIBA international referee.

June 1991
Lino Vassallo is elected president of the MBA. Mr. Louis Borg is nominated President Emeritus of the MBA.

February 1992: John Tabone is voted the Sports Official of the year for 1991

May 1993
The Malta’s ladies team win the Bronze Medal in the Small Nations Games held in Malta.

June 1994
Joe Farrugia is elected MBA president.
The first FIBA Promotion Cup for Women is held in Malta.

May 1995
Leonard Falzon is appointed FIBA Commissioner.
Nicholas Azzopardi is appointed FIBA International Referee.

June 1996
Bernard Vassallo is appointed as a FIBA International Referee after successfully completing the FIBA Referees Clinic in Bratislava.

September 1996
Italy’s National Coach, Ettore Messina conducts a course for senior coaches.

October 1996
The Malta Falcons play a series of ‘home’ and ‘away’ games against Italian B1 sides. The Falcons win seven from eleven matches.

December 1996
Magistrate Antonio Mizzi is elected President of the Malta Basketball Association.

May 1997
The NCAA team of Dayton University visit Malta.
Malta’s Men national team win he Silver Medal in the small National Games held in Iceland. The Maltese Women team secure the Bronze Medal.

July 1997
The first FIBA Junior women promotion cup was held in Malta. Malta placed 6th in tournament.

July 1998
Maurizio Mondoni conducts a Mini basket coaching course.

August 1998
Magistrate Antonio Mizzi is nominated member of the FIBA European commission for legal matters and eligibility (1998-2002).

October 1998
‘Air Malta La Vallette’ participates in the Italian League Serie C1.

May 1999
The 49th FIBA Europe General Assembly Standing Conference of the delegates of the national federations of Europe is staged at the Westin Dragonara resort, St. Julians.

July 2000
The Cadets National Boys team won for the first time ever a bronze medal in the FIBA European Promotion Cup.
Mr Tom Scheeman (FIBA) conducts a coaching course in Malta under the auspices of the MBA, MOC, IOC and FIBA.

February 2001
The Malta government transferred the property at Ta’ Qali to the MBA for 49 years. The property includes the existing basketball complex and the land around the complex for future development.

June 2001
The president of the MBA, Magistrate Antonio Mizzi, appointed as the FIBA President of the European appeals board and also member of the FIBA European zone board.
The male senior national team participated for the first time in the 33rd European Championship for men. The other participating teams were Austria, Hungary and Rumania.

May 2003
The female national team wins the first Gold medal in the 2003 GSSE Games organised in Malta.

June 2003
Bernard Vassallo referees the final game of the Men Competition, Iceland vs Cyprus, in the Games of the Small States of Europe 2013

December 2003
The female national team wins the Gold Award at the MOC Sports Awards.

January 2004
The Ladies Basketball team win the Team of the Year (2003) award organized by the Sportswriters association.

July 2004
The female national team wins Bronze medal at the FIBA Promotion Cup held in Andorra.
The Fisec girls team wins Bronze medal in the games organised in Malta.

December 2004
The Ladies Basketball Team is awarded the MOC Silver award during a gala night organized by the MOC.

May 2005
The female national team wins the Bronze medal at the GSSE Games held in Andorra.
Malta hosted the FIBA Executive Board meeting.

March 2006
Bernard Vassallo referees the Final Game of the 2016 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

April 2006
Female national team participate in the Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne Australia. Playing against New Zealand, Malasia, India and Nigeria.

January 2007
Bernard Vassallo is voted as the ‘Sport Official of the Year 2006’ by the Malta Sport writers Association during the National Sports Awards event.

July 2007
The female national team Under 18 wins the Gold medal in the FIBA European Championship Division C held in Malta.

May 2008
Malta hosted the FIBA General Assembly.

July 2008
The female national team wins the Gold medal in the FIBA European Championship Division C held in Luxembourg.
The Fisec boys team wins a Silver Medal in Malta.

December 2008
The female national team wins the Gold Award at the MOC Sports Awards.

May 2009
The female national team wins the Gold medal at the GSSE Games held in Cyprus.

July 2009
The male national team Under 18 wins the Gold medal in the FIBA European Championship Division C held in Malta.
The female national team Under 18 wins the Bronze medal in the FIBA European Championship Division C held in Malta.
The female national team participated in the Mediterranean Games held in Pescara. Playing against Greece, Serbia, Turkey and Albania.

December 2009
The female national team wins the Gold Award at the MOC Sports Awards.

January 2010
The female national team is voted Team of the Year (2009) by the Ghaqda Kittieba Sport in the Sports Awards event.

May 2010
Mag. Antonio Mizzi elected once again on the FIBA Board. Frank Camilleri and Ray Mercieca also reappointed in the Small Countries Commission and Finance Commission respectively

June 2010
The female national team wins the Gold medal in the FIBA European Championship Division C held in Armenia.

July 2010
The male national team wins the Bronze medal in the FIBA European Championship Division C held in Malta.

June 2011
A new administrative team was elected to run the MBA , with President Mr. Paul Sultana, Deputy President Dr. Trevor De Giorgio and Secretary General Mr. Joseph Muscat

Bernard Vassallo officiates at the Euro Basket 2011 Women European Championships in Poland.

July 2011
The Female national Team U/16 wins the Bronze medal in FIBA European Championship Division C held in Andorra

August 2011
Infrastructural and cosmetic works started on the Pavilion
A new U/23 League was introduced

October 2011
Foreign players re-introduced in all Senior National Leagues.
Adjacent land to the basketball pavilion, of circa 11,400 square metres, was handed over to the MBA by the Kunsill Malti ghall-iSport (KMS).

June 2012
Mr. Paolo Di Fonzo and Mr. Santino Coppa conducted a coaching course under the auspices of the MBA and KMS.

July 2012
The Male national team wins the Bronze medal in the FIBA European Championship Division C held in San Marino.
The female national team wins Bronze medal in the FIBA European Championship Division C held in Macedonia.

Bernard Vassallo officiates the bronze medal game of the FIBA Europe Under 20 A Championships in Novi Sad, Serbia

September 2012
Prof. Maurizio Mondoni conducted a coaching course under the auspices of the MBA and KMS.
The whole pavilion flooded after the 3rd September’s storm destroying completely the parquet flooring. A new parquet was laid, with funding from the KMS, on top of a newly built elevated roofing structure to prevent future damage due to floods.

October 2012
After works on the new parquet were completed, Hon. Clyde Puli officially inaugurated the new parquet floor together with the MBA President Paul Sultana.

March 2013
Bernard Vassallo officates in the FIBA EuroLeague Final 8 held in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

June 2013
Female national team participates in the GSSE Small Countries GAMES held in Luxembourg. Playing against Iceland, Luxembourg and Cyprus

July 2013
Elections for the new Administration confirmed President Mr. Paul Sultana and  Secretary General Mr. Joseph Muscat.

The female National Team U/18 wins the Silver medal in FIBA European Championship Division C held in Andorra.

August 2013
Bernard Vassallo officiates the bronze medal game in the European Under 18 A Championships in Latvia.

September 2013
Works started on site for the new Training Gyms adjacent to Ta Qali Pavilion.

April 2014
The New Training Courts are completed. The MBA can now boast to having 3 full parquet courts.

July 2014
FIBA Europe U16 Men & Women Div C for Small Countries are held here in Ta Qali – Malta
A memorable year for Maltese Basketball. Our National Teams have won 5 medals out of 6 in the following Categories.
Male National Team U/16 wins Gold medal in FIBA European Championship Division C held in Malta, for the first time.
Female National Team U/16 wins SILVER medal in FIBA European Championship Division C held in Malta.
Male National Team Seniors wins SILVER medal in FIBA European Championship Division C held in Gibraltar.
Female National Team Seniors wins BRONZE medal in FIBA European Championship Division C held in Austria.
Female National Team U/18 wins SILVER medal in FIBA European Championship Division C held in Andorra.
Male National Team U/18 participated in FIBA European Championship Division C held in Andorra.

2015-2016…to be updated


July 2017

Malta hosted the FIBA under 18 Women’s Championship Division C with the games all being played in the National Sport School Gym in Pembroke. The Malta girls won the bronze medal in these championships. For all the info on these championships, please click here.

At the same time, the Malta Under 18 male squad went to Nicosia in Cyprus to play in the 2017 FIBA under 18 Men’s Championship Division C where they won the bropnze medal. For games info, please click here.

July 2017 also heralded the first time that Malta took the plunge to participate in the FIBA under 20 championships. Click here to view all Malta’s games in Oradea. History was made on Friday 21st July when Malta registered its first ever win in the under 20 after beating Moldova 96-48. Click here to see the full video of this win over Moldova. The game statistics could be viewed here.

August 2017

Malta participated in the FIBA under 16 Championships Division C in Andorra. For games info, please click here.

The women under 16 took part in the FIBA under 16 Women Championships Division C in Gibraltar. The local girls came home with the silver medal. For full tournament info, please click here.

October 2017

The new Basketball Pavilion Project is inaugurated. A Malta select side plays against Orlandina Capo d’Orlando from the Italian Serie A1.

January 2018

Paul Sultana is voted Sports Official of the Year

Angela Adamoli is voted Coach of the Year





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