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Watch: “I’m a part of history” says Malta international Falzon after helping Matelica to championship

Malta international Tevin Falzon drives to the hoop. Photo: Vigor Matelica

After finishing second in the Italian Serie C Gold standings, runners-up to Bramante Pesaro, not many expected Malta International Tevin Falzon’s Vigor Matelica to go all the way and make history – Achieve promotion to Serie B.

But after the side beat Pescara 57-49 last Sunday in Game One of the Playoff finals, the Palasport Castelraimondo was sold out in two hours for Wednesday’s Game Two. Together with their fans, they achieved their goal when they beat Pescara Basket 77-49 in front of a packed gym and sealed the greatly desired promotion.

Falzon, who joined ahead of the 2021-22 season has been an important cog in Matelica’s machine this year and was also instrumental in the Playoffs, particularly in Game Two against Pescara when he scored 12 points.

It rained three-pointers for Falzon and the rest of the Matelica roster who were the more dominant side in the game, leading with a 20+ point margin for most of the second half.

Speaking about the significance of this championship win for him, Falzon said this was his “main focus above anything individually”.

“(The championship) means everything for so many reasons! I came here with the goal of helping Matelica win a championship and get promoted to Serie B,” Falzon told the Times of Malta on Thursday.

“It was something coach talked to me about before I signed and that was really my main focus above anything individually. This was something Matelica has never done so I wanted to help propel them to new heights and now I’m a part of history.”

Malta had already celebrated an Italian championship last season, when fellow international Kurt Cassar won the Serie B title with Janus Fabriano. While this second consecutive celebration will undoubtedly bring joy to the Maltese community, the community of Matelica was in a festive mood throughout the night on Wednesday and Falzon believes they will be celebrating for a while.

“(Celebrations) have been amazing so far. Lots of happy faces, hugs, and pride. I think I will take part in them for a couple more days before I leave to join the National team in Malta but I’m sure the fans in the people in the organization will be celebrating for longer than that,” he said.

This was Falzon’s second season on the books of an Italian club. Last season’s COVID-19 troubles, which halted his season with Pallacanestro Palestrina before it even started, led to the former Bristol Flyers forward having to wait until this season to leave his mark on Italian basketball. Falzon believes this was an opportunity to show what kind of player he is.

“(Last season’s troubles) definitely make it special for me. I hadn’t played a full season since 2018 in Bristol before this season,” he admitted.

“2019 I took a gamble and waited for what I thought was the right situation in Iceland but ultimately that didn’t work out. Then COVID-19 halted my 2020 Palestrina stint before it even began and ultimately, I chose not to sign with another team because my father unexpectedly passed away shortly after I returned home from Palestrina.

“This year I really just wanted to have a full season where I could play, show that I’m still a very capable player, and contribute to winning and I believe I did all of those things.

“I don’t know what the future holds for my career, but I definitely think this year was important and helped raise my stock.”

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