Four respective junior national team squads were involved in respective FIBA Europe Division C Championships during this month. Satisfactory results which were achieved in most categories will continue to fill the Malta Basketball Association with added determination to continue with the work and investment being carried out in the Basketball Academy that was set up a few years ago.
The best result was attained by the female under 18 national team which won the silver medal when playing in Gibraltar. The Maltese team, under the guidance of Sandro Farrugia, only had to succumb against the superior and strong Scottish national team but were then quite consistent in all the remaining matches and desreved the silver medal with only a single loss in all the competition.
Both the male and female under 16 national teams managed to win bronze in their own European Championships played in San Marino and Andorra respectively.
The boys’ side, led by Gabriele Alesse, had a good start to the competition but then had to bow down against the strong Kosovo side in the semifinals. However the Malta team recovered to beat Wales 53-44 in the bronze medal match.
On the other hand, the girls’ under 18 team surprised some when in Andorra they managed to qualify for the semifinals and then only lost with a small margin against Armenia. Nevertheless the Malta side comfortably beat Wales 53-35 the next day to win bronze.
Another national team which was in action during July was the boys’ under 18 side. After a positive showing against San Marino in the group phase to top the group, the Maltese boys had to yield against a superior Andorra side in the semifinal and then lost the bronze medal match against Wales.
One has to also mention that three local players were chosen in their respective championships All-Star Five. Kurt Cassar was selected following the Under 16 Boys competition whilst Hannah Al Tumi and Sophie Abela were respectively chosen following the female under 18 and under 16 championships.