SMALL COUNTRIES MEN
|Andorra used high-percentage shots to get the win |
Malta's strong finish ended Wales' resistance and Andorra crushed San Marino as both teams continued their impressive form at the European Championship for Small Countries Men in Gibraltar.
Wales played Malta tough throughout the match, trailing by only five heading into the fourth quarter. But Darryl Jackson and Omar Said hit a succession of long-distance shots as Malta racked up 31 points in the final period, taking a 93-75 victory.
Jordan Seeley kept the Welsh hopes alive with 24 points, but Samuel Deguara proved to be too strong inside, pulling down 22 rebounds as Malta capitalised off second opportunities.
Deguara added 18 points and six blocks, while Said hit five three-pointers on his way to 18 points in the game. Jackson had a game-high 25 points in leading Malta's potent attack.
The result consigned Wales to the bottom of Group B, setting up a tie with San Marino in the knockout stage on Thursday. San Marino's victory over Gibraltar on Tuesday enabled them to claim second place in Group A, but they could not follow up with a second win as Andorra pulled away in a dominant third quarter to take an 83-47 win.
San Marino's offence spluttered as they struggled to hold on to the ball and couldn't get their shots to fall, shooting only 28 percent from the field. Andorra scored the last four points of the first half and followed with the first 14 points in the third period to blow the game open.
Back-to-back buckets from Roger Lliteras Riera saw the lead extend to 30 by the end of the third quarter as Andorra eased to victory. Their next match will be on Friday, when they will take on the winner of Thursday's match between Scotland and Gibraltar.
Veteran center Rafael Casals led all scorers with 20 points, and Guillem Colom added 15. Lorenzo Liberti top-scored for San Marino with 10.