Despite the COVID-19 crisis forcing many leagues around the world towards suspension, summer transfers have produced various awaited moves for Maltese players away from the country. Malta international TEVIN FALZON, who was part of the 2018 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries winning team, has brought his game to Italy after a move to Serie B club Pallacanestro Palestrina from Iceland’s Njarovik. The Times of Malta’s Sportsdesk looks at Maltese professionals plying their trade overseas in another ‘Maltese abroad’ series.
27-year-old Falzon (picture), who started out at Connecticut’s Sacred Heart University in the US, has played against now NBA stars CJ McCollum (Portland Trailblazers), TJ Warren (Indiana Pacers) and D’Angelo Russel (Minnesota Timberwolves) before moving to Spain in 2017 and further on, the UK and Iceland.
The forward’s move to Palestrina was confirmed in a statement made by the club, making him the third Maltese player in Italy at the moment, along with center Kurt Cassar, who joined Serie A2 side Agribertocchi Orzinuovi back in June, and shooting guard Darryl Jackson who plays for Bergamo Basket 2014 also in Serie A2.
Palestrina had great praise for their new signing, saying on their website that he is “offensively complete, excellent in one-on-one situations and to serve his team-mates, Falzon is also very good when it comes to defend and has a great sense of positioning.”
“I’m super excited and super happy to sign for Palestrina for this upcoming season. I can’t wait to get there, see the sights and get to work. I’m looking forward to a big season from us and from me individually as well,” Falzon told Palestrina’s socials.
Fellow international Cassar also looks forward to his new experience in following his move to Brescia from Torino’s Reale Mutua.
“I’m happy and grateful for this new opportunity. I can’t wait to get to Orzinuovi and to be able to have fun with the team and the new fans,” the 21-year-old told the club’s website.
Former Starlites point-guard Kristy Galea will be looking forward to another year in West Virginia with the Alderson Broaddus Battlers after finishing her freshman year back in February.
The 2018 FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship, Division C Most-Valuable-Player joined the Battlers in the summer of 2019 and played all throughout the season. But it won’t be before November until action can restart after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s women and men’s basketball oversight committee jointly agreed to propose November 25 as the start date for the 2020/21 college basketball season.
Tevin Falzon’s younger brother and fellow Malta international Aaron, who like Galea, was still following the collegiate route until this year, will be out of the Quinnipiac Bobcats squad for the next season after having joined the men’s basketball program as a graduate transfer in 2019. It is still unknown where the forward be heading ahead of next season.
Former Starlites guard Sasha Lecuyer, playing on a scholarship at Charnwood College has started pre-season with the club ahead of her second year.
Lecuyer, who saw action in the Woman’s Division1, WEABL and U-18 team last season, will be looking to return as the coming season is set to restart in October.
16-year-old Nelly Lee Pace joins fellow Depiro youngster Julia Borg at the Sheffield College Basketball Academy as student athletes.
In Spain, new CD Magectias signing Mikela Riolo arrived last week for the start of her first pre-season at the club after joining from Starlites in July.
Malta’s big man Samuel Deguara will most probably have to wait to start the coming season with San Miguel Alab Philipinas.
Asean Basketball League (ABL) minority owner and official of Vietnamese team Saigon Heat, Connor Nguyen told ESPN a few weeks ago that the league was unlikely to resume in 2020, and February 2021 was being considered as a start date.