Fenech selects squad for FIBA European Championship for Small Countries 2024

Malta to face hosts Andorra, Gibraltar and San Marino

The men’s national basketball team is currently preparing for the 2024 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries, being played in Andorra between 25 and 30 June.

These commitments will be the first official games for Malta under the guidance of Duncan Fenech who was appointed head coach of the men’s national basketball team in February.

In preparation for the upcoming FIBA tournament, Fenech has been overseeing training involving a squad of 18 players which has now been trimmed to 12 ahead of the contingent’s departure to Andorra on Sunday.

Commenting on the team’s build-up for this tournament, Fenech said: “The team’s preparations have been optimal. Our main focus was on achieving the right balance and a sense of unity within a group of players coming from different clubs, keeping in mind that they have not had many opportunities to play together over the past few months.

“We are relying mostly on local players for this tournament and that was another consideration we have taken into account in our preparations for this competition.

“We have played some friendly matches. We anticipated a tough start to these friendlies but the team showed improvement from game to game. Overall, I’m satisfied with the progress of our preparations.”

Malta launch their Group A campaign against Gibraltar on Tuesday, 25 June (17.00hrs). Their second match is against San Marino on Wednesday, also at 17.00hrs, before facing Andorra in their final group game on Thursday at 19.30hrs. 

After the group phase, the semi-finals are scheduled to take place on Saturday followed by the third-place game and final on Sunday.

Although Malta will be aiming for gold, Fenech insisted that the onus is on his players to approach this tournament with the right attitude and commitment in order to achieve their goal.

“In a way, it adds to the pressure since this is a short tournament where we will be playing against teams that are relatively not at the top of the bracket,” Fenech said. “We need to approach this challenge with the right mindset, knowing that we need to work very hard to win games and boost our chances of winning gold.”

The Malta Basketball Association would like to thank Sport Malta for their continuous support.

SQUAD

Matthew Scerri, Ian Felice Pace, Alec Felice Pace, Kurt Xuereb (all Starlites): Miguel Brincat (Depiro BC); Nathan Xuereb (Luxol); David Bugeja (Mellieha BC); Neil Cassar (Valletta BC); Kurt Cassar (NPC Rieti, Italy); Sam Deguara (Taiwan Mustangs, Taiwan); Michael Sjoberg (Monthey-Chablais, Switzerland); Joshua Tomasi (Casey Cavaliers Cranbourne, Australia). 

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