U16 MEN DIVISION C
|Gibraltar's Timothy Fava has been averaging 19.7 points and 11.7 rebounds over the first three games|
Tournament hosts Gibraltar continued their undefeated march at the U16 European Championship Men Division C on Saturday with a 56-42 win over San Marino and are now one step from claiming gold.
Gibraltar will top the table if they collect a fourth straight victory on Sunday against Andorra, on the final day of action in the tournament.
Andorra defeated Wales 72-61 on Saturday and are now right behind Gibraltar in the standings with a 2-1 record, same as Scotland.
In case they succeed in upsetting the hosts on the final day and at the same time the Scottish are victorious against San Marino, there will be a three-way tie at the top where the point differentials in the games involving these three teams will come into play.
Previously, Gibraltar had prevailed 57-50 over Scotland, who in turn had enjoyed an 80-48 rout of Andorra on Day 1.
On Saturday, the Gibraltarians started very strong on defence to take an early 15-7 lead over San Marino and extended it to 11 points, 28-17, at the half-time interval.
The third quarter was San Marino's most productive in the encounter as they scored 14 points, but the hosts replied with 17 of their own to take into the fourth frame a comfortable 14-point advantage, which they maintained until the final buzzer.
Once again it was forwards Jake Haefner and Timothy Fava who paved the way to victory for the hosts, as they both collected a double-double of 18 points each and 15 and 14 rebounds, respectively.
The key to Gibraltar's success was their excellent defence on tournament leading scorer Pierluigi Berardi.
The San Marino guard was the only player on his team to score in double digits and finished with 18 points, but did so on 7-for-24 shooting from the floor; Giovanni Ugolini had a game-high 17 rebounds to go with his eight points in a losing effort.
Andorra meanwhile relied on a rock-solid defensive display in the first half to bend the resistance of Wales.
The Iberian nation's team outscored their opponents 21-9 in the first quarter and claimed their biggest lead in the game, 31-15, just 30 seconds before the end of the second frame.
Wales came back from the locker rooms looking like a different team and scored 18 points in the third quarter alone, but all they could manage was to reduce the gap to 11 points at the end.
Andorra's Roger Curet Valero led all scorers with 20 points and added five rebounds, while Sergi Cervos Aranda and Bruno Eduardo Ribeiro Cacador chipped in with 10 points apiece.
For Wales, Conor Easter had 15 points while Jacob Williams picked up a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds in defeat.