The Malta Independent 21 August 2019, Wednesday

Maltese Girls Win Basketball Gold

Malta Independent Monday, 14 July 2008, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

The dream came true. After years of participation in the FIBA Europe competitions, for the first time a Maltese senior team won the gold medal. After the under 18’s success of last summer once again it was the female sector which gave the Maltese Basketball and Malta a wonderful result.

In Saturday’s final Malta won 61-81 against a though Albania who eliminated the hosts Luxembourg in the semi-final.

The start of the game was all in favor of the Maltese side encouraged by a number of Maltese fans who were present for the game. Loretta Ellul sank a trey for Malta just after 14 seconds followed by a hoop from Rebecca Brincat Thoresen for a quick 5-0 after 1 minute. Ellul’s second three pointer of the game and another one by Brincat soon made it 11-2 for Malta. Malta kept up this good rhythm to end the first quarter 33-15 in a quarter completely dominated by the Maltese side especially thanks to the good mood in offence of Ellul, Brincat and Joey Grima.

The start of the second quarter saw a slow start from both sides although Malta managed to increase the lead to 20 points 37-17. Coppa made some subs and free-throws by Kirsten Micallef still kept Albania away. However a small 6-2 run by the Albanese ended the first half on a 30-44 score. The start of the third quarter saw the Maltese girls once again increasing the lead to 20 points 50-30 with more points from Brincat. In fact thanks to her 24th point of the game Malta increased the lead to 56-35 mid-way through the third quarter. After a three pointer from Hasanaj for Albania Santino Coppa called a time out however there was no change in the score and at the end of the third quarter Malta was 48-62 up. The tension was at its best in the final quarter as hoops from Christina Grima and Josephine Grima established again a 20 point lead for Malta 48-68.

The Maltese kept calm against the aggressiveness of Albania who started to loose players with the fifth foul. With less than 5 minutes Malta kept the lead 73-54. In the last five minutes Malta controlled the final efforts by Albania and won the game 81-61. Player of the game was Rebecca Brincat Thoresen with another double-double. She scored 33 points and had 14 rebounds. Josephine Grima was Malta’s second best scorer with 18 points and Loretta Ellul had 13 points.

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