Men's team win bronze medal
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Men's team win bronze medal

Michael Naudi launches a Malta attack against Moldova yesterday. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Michael Naudi launches a Malta attack against Moldova yesterday. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Malta won the bronze medal in the European Championship Division C after beating Moldova 85-77 in the third-place play-off at the University Sports Complex yesterday.

Bruno Dipietrantonio's men were keen to make amends for their semi-final defeat to Andorra on Friday and they made a fast start to the match as they took a commanding 32-18 lead after the opening ten minutes of play.

The Moldovans soon regrouped and started to get more into the picture and it was no surprise that the second session was more evenly-balanced with Malta going into the interval enjoying a comfortable 12-point lead, 45-33.

Moldova started the third session strongly, scoring eight points without reply to bridge the gap to just seven points, 50-43. However, the hosts soon regained their best form and stretched their lead to 10 points at the start of the final session, 65-55.

The final quarter offered some tense moments as Moldova increased the pressure and manage to bridge the gap to just five points with less than six minutes to play. However, the Maltese showed great mental strength to regain the initiative and hold on to their lead.

Joshua Jackson was again an inspirational figure for the Maltese yesterday when he finished as the match's leading scorer with 26 points. Addison Bonnici potted 18 points while Sam Deguara finished with 17 points.

The third-placing in the men's competition seals a positive fortnight for the Malta Basketball Association.

Last week, the women's selection, guided by Santino Coppa and his assistant Sandro Farrugia, won the gold medal in the women's competition when they beat hosts Armenia in the final.

Meanwhile, Denmark were declared winners of the tournament after they cruised past Andorra 87-69 in the final.

Final placings: 1. Denmark; 2. Andorra; 3. Malta; 4. Moldova; 5. Wales; 6. Scotland; 7. Gibraltar; 8. San Marino.

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