The second edition of the Elite Basketball Tournament came to an end last weekend after the USA Select team won the Elite Cup final against Depiro on Sunday. An interesting match between two sides who kept answering each other in the first half. A good shooting performance by the American team gave them a substantial lead that they never relinquished till the end to win with a score of 120-83.
Following the event, Elite Basketball tournament coordinator Ruben Baldacchino lauded the experience given to the three local teams taking part this summer – Depiro, Hibernians, and Gzira Athleta – against the USA Select team.
“It was a great experience for local clubs to play against a top team such as the USA Select which is made up of high-level American players. This serves well as a pre-season match-up for local clubs and also, a good opportunity for coaches to experiment with their teams, while also giving an experience to the young talented players in their teams to show their worth,” Baldacchino said.
Prior to the Elite Cup final, two other games were played on Friday and Saturday, against Gzira Athleta and Hibernians respectively. Both teams are still to include their import players for the coming season, yet they gave a good account of themselves against the USA Select team led by Mr. John Crawford.
Earlier on Thursday, the team held a youth basketball camp led by experienced Head Coach Sean Kilmartin who gave a wonderful session of game fundamentals to a number of enthusiastic youth basketball players. The youth basketball players had also the opportunity to interact with USA Select players during the camp where they shared their experiences with them.
This event is part of the European tour that USA Select organises every year, following trips to the UK and Finland.
“It is an honor to have a team of this calibre from the USA coming to Malta and playing against local teams,” Baldacchino admitted.
“We are happy with the collaboration we have with the USA Select and the Amateur Athletic Union, which helps us to include Malta as part of the USA Select tour in Europe.
“It was nice to see the stands filled up during the three days of this high-level basketball event. Our aim is to expand this event next year, which will be the third consecutive year organising it with more foreign teams participating while looking forward to being able to host a women’s event too. ”