Malta defeated Ireland earlier in the competition (Photo: Malta Basketball Association)
Malta’s basketball team could win its first ever gold medal in the FIBA European Championship for Small Nations as it prepares to take on Norway this evening.
Malta breezed its way through the final, defeating Andorra and Ireland in the group stages before thrashing Gibraltar 102-57 in yesterday’s semi-final.
It will now take on Norway, who had seen off Gibraltar, Moldova and hosts San Marino in the group stages and Ireland in the semi-final.
Malta celebrates after defeating Gibraltar in yesterday’s semi-final
A Malta victory will mean a first-ever gold medal for the national team since the biannual competition was introduced back in 1988. It came agonisingly close in 2014, only narrowly losing out to Andorra by 66-63 in the final.
It will rely on key players like Jacob Formosa, Kurt Cassar and Samuel Deguara who, at 7-foot-5, is the tallest Maltese person and one of the tallest basketball players in the world.
Malta’s women’s basketball team came close to replicating the mens’ efforts, but lost by 66-47 to Luxembourg in yesterday’s semi-final. They will now play for a bronze medal, coincidentally also against Norway, at 5:30pm today.