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Watch: Maltese Abroad: Galea on form as Battlers win MEC tournament opener

Kristy Galea in action against Notre Dame. Photo: Alderson Broaddus Battlers

Malta guard Kristy Galea and the Alderson Broaddus Battlers took the lion’s share in their first-ever March Madness appearance in the Mountain East Conference (MEC) Tournament, as they beat Fairmont State in their opening game on Monday. The Times of Malta Sportsdesk looks at Galea and other Maltese professionals plying their trade overseas in another segment of ‘Maltese Abroad’.

USA

Kristy Galea got double digits in the Alderson Broaddus Battlers’ final regular season game on Saturday, and went close on Monday in the team’s first round win in the MEC Tournament.

On Saturday, Galea scored 17 points and assisted two baskets off the bench but this wasn’t enough to secure the win as the Battlers lost 62-78 to Notre Dame. The former Starlites guard played 36 minutes and grabbed eight defensive rebounds, made a block and got a steal.

On Monday, she came off the bench again to score eight while grabbing five boards and making two blocks in 21 minutes against Fairmont State. She was in inspired form as her block in the final quarter, followed by two points which confirmed the Battlers’ lead eventually led the side to win 85-79.

This is the first time in their history that the side has featured in the post-season tournament – one which features the top five teams in each division. Eight teams then advance to Wheeling, West Virginia for the quarters beginning on Thursday.

FULL GAME: https://mountaineast.tv/aldersonbroaddus/?B=242744

Galea and the Battlers face the number one seed the University of Charleston next on Thursday (tip-off: 5pm USA/11pm Malta).

UK

Aaron Falzon. Photo: Leicester Riders

Aaron Falzon’s Leicester Riders could not sweep their two-game series against the Worchester Wolves on the weekend as they won their first on Friday but lost on Sunday.

On Friday, the side beat the Wolves 82-81 and Falzon came off the bench to score seven points and assist one in around 17 minutes. He also got three rebounds and a block.

Two days later, the Riders lost 84-82 as Falzon couldn’t not make enough impact, playing around 14 minutes and only making two rebounds and an assist during his time on court.

The Leicester Riders face the Cheshire Pheonix on Friday (tip-off: 6pm UK/7pm Malta).

Sasha Lecuyer. Photo: Loughborough Riders

Fellow Rider Sasha Lecuyer knocked on the door for double digits in the Loughborough Riders’ blowout 81-55 win over the CoLa Southwark Pride on Saturday. The game came after a 21-day hiatus for the side as their previous game against CoLa was postponed on February 14.

Sasha Lecuyer scores a three and recovers the ball with a steal straight after against CoLa. Video Basketball England

Lecuyer scored nine points and assisted a bucket in around 18 minutes. Defensively, she grabbed three boards and made three steals.

This weekend, it is the Loughbourough Riders’ turn to play the Worchester Wolves as they face the side on Saturday (tip-off: 2pm UK/ 3pm Malta).

ITALY

Kurt Cassar rises towards the hoop. Photo: Janus Fabriano

Kurt Cassar returned to action last weekend after missing out on Janus Fabriano’s game against JESI as he was following COVID-19 protocol. He came back into the starting five against Giulia Basket Giulianova as the side won 74-60 and cemented their first-place position in the Serie B standings. Janus Fabriano also confirmed their place in the Coppa Italia.

Cassar got five points in 15 minutes, while grabbing two boards.

Fabriano play Luciana Mosconi Ancona on Sunday (tip-off: 6pm).

JAPAN

Sam Deguara (centre) reaches for handshakes with his Tokyo Excellence teammates. Photo: Tokyo Excellence

Sam Deguara’s Tokyo Excellence celebrated two back-to-back wins over the weekend as they beat the Iwate Big Bulls again on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, fourth-place Tokyo got a 78-62 win over the Big Bulls but Deguara only managed five rebounds in around 13 minutes with few scoring attempts.

The next day, Deguara made up for it with double digits as the side won 93-81 this time. The Malta center scored 16 points in 21 minutes, scoring five from seven attempts. He also got nine rebounds.

The Tokyo Excellence now face a back-to back encounter against the Gifu Swoops on Saturday and Sunday.     

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