Malta’s under-16 girls’ National team ended their commitments in this year’s FIBA European Championships with a medal as the team led by Sandro Farrugia took home the bronze on Sunday after beating Andorra 64-47 in the third-place game.
Malta won every one of their group games to land a spot in the semifinals, beating Andorra and hosts Albania on the way. However, Armenia landed yet another blow to the Maltese national teams, after the senior men’s final at Ta’ Qali at the beginning of the month, as they beat the Maltese girls 75-51 on Saturday.
This was to be the only loss in the tournament however, as the side cruised to victory yet again against group opponents Andorra on Sunday.
Sara Fenech Pace led the game in scoring as she finished the afternoon with 22 points, scoring 64.3% of her shots from the field and 66.7% from the freethrow line. She also finished the game with a double-double after grabbing 15 rebounds in around 33 minutes played. Shanice Farrugia was the other Maltese scorer in double digits, coming off the bench to get 10 points and nine rebounds.
As for Andorra, Andrea De Guzman led the team with 16 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double, as Ester Maqruet Vidal added 14.
Malta led the game throughout, with the largest streak being a 13-0 run. After a tense opening that saw both teams finish the first quarter tied at 12-12, Malta settled into their system and dominated proceedings, particularly in the third quarter when they restricted the Andorrans to only nine points, and scoring 20 in the process.
Tough campaign for Malta’s boys
In the men’s Under-16 European Championships, Malta ended its commitments with a close 67-61 defeat to Moldova. It was not the best of tournaments for the team led by Claudio Massari as the team finished their campaign in sixth place.
On Sunday, it was Malta point guard Justin Caruana who led the team’s scoring with 19 points. Gzira Athleta guard Caruana had been one of the standout players for the side, having also scoring 37 points in Malta’s win over Gibraltar on Saturday. Aleksander Sultana and Julien Jay Dimech combined for 28 points with 14 points each, Sultana racking up 15 rebounds for a double-double.