Malta clinch silver medal in Men's FIBA European Championship for Small Countries final

Malta’s never-say-die performance was not enough as hosts Andorra came through an exciting finale to win the gold medal, 84-79, at the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries.

As expected, the final was a very close encounter with the two teams neck-and-neck for most of the game.

After Andorra took the first session by a single point, 20-19, Malta, inspired by David Bugeja, won the second 20-15 to build a four-point lead going into half-time.

The third was also a tight affair with Andorra levelling at 53-53 with less than a minute but a Michael Sjoberg three-pointer put Malta back in front just before the end of the session.

The lead kept changing hands in the initial stages of the last quarter but two three-pointers sent Andorra eight points clear, 64-56. Three baskets by the in-form Bugeja and a Joshua Tomasi three-pointer kept Malta in contention.

An exciting finale ensured with Andorra three points ahead going into the final minute only for Deguara’s basket to bring them within one point, 76-75. It was Andorra who had the final say with a late surge to win 84-79.

Bugela was Malta’s most efficient player with 22 points and two assists while Sjoberg had most rebounds – 10.

Bruno Bartolome led the way for the hosts, scoring 24 points.

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