While most European basketball championships are nearing their end, Australia is just getting started. Nick Formosa put up a statement 20-point game over the weekend for the Altona Gators. Similarly in Asia, Sam Deguara scored a season-high 34 points in another Tokyo Excellence win. The Times of Malta Sportsdesk looks at Formosa, Deguara, and other Maltese professionals plying their trade overseas in another segment of ‘Maltese Abroad’.
Nick Formosa was the joint top scorer for the Altona Gators with 20 points as the side beat the Pakenham Warriors 77-72 in the Big V Division Two championship on Saturday.
Formosa grabbed three boards, made three steals, and dished out six assists in around 35 minutes as the Gators made up for a tough first quarter with two dominant ones in the second and third. Formosa even made into the league leaders’ column this week after averaging 4.75 assists, putting him fourth in the standings so far.
The Altona Gators face the Mornington Breakers this Saturday.
In the Youth League One, the youngest of the Formosa brothers, Alex Formosa could not leave such an impact for the Gators as the side lost 82-83 to the Hume Broncos. Alex played for around 16 minutes but could not put his name on the scoreboard. He grabbed three rebounds, assisted one make, and got one steal.
The young Gators face the Frankston Blues on Sunday.
Sam Deguara enjoyed a double-digit weekend as he scored 13 on Friday and a season-high of 34 on Saturday for the Tokyo Excellence.
On Friday, the side cruised as they beat Kagoshima Rebnize 118-74 as Deguara spent around 14 minutes on court, grabbing four rebounds apart from his double-digit scoring.
The next day, the Malta center took over as the team’s leading scorer in 20 minutes of play with 34 as he added 14 rebounds for a double-double. The side went on to win 99-69 to conclude a dominant weekend series over Kagoshima.
The Tokyo Excellence play the Aisin AW Areions Anjo this weekend.
Malta guard Sophie Abela became the first Maltese player to win a post-season tournament in the US after the Otero Rattlers won the Region IX tournament on their homecourt. The Rattlers had placed first in their regular season with a 17-3 record and got to host the event. In the post-season regionals, The Rattlers played three times in three days, winning games against Northwest College (66-52), McCook Community College (66-53), and eventually the Championship game against Casper College (94-89).
Against Northwest on Thursday, Abela scored double digits as she got 10 points, assisted four, and grabbed four boards. The next day against McCook, Abela scored a layup, adding another point from the line for an ‘and-one’ play. Finally against Casper, Abela scored another layup as the side had to fight through overtime to take the spoils.
Following this win, the Rattlers now enter the National championship which kickstarts on Monday as the side face Butler Community College in their opening round game.
Aaron Falzon’s Leicester Riders had a positive week as they made it two wins from two. On Wednesday, the Riders beat the Worchester Wolves 57-75. Falzon scored eight in 16 minutes, grabbing four rebounds.
In their weekend game, the Riders pushed further as they hold top seed in the BBL, with a 93-85 win over the Plymouth raiders. Falzon scored four in around 11 minutes.
The Leicester Riders face the Newcastle Eagles on Friday.
Sasha Lecuyer’s Loughborough Riders did not echo this winning week as they fell 70-64 to the Reading Rockets on Saturday. Lecuyer scored four points in around 28 minutes. She added two rebounds and four assists.
The Loughborough Riders face Thames Valley Cavaliers on Saturday.