VALETTA (Malta) – Two former winners will contest the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries 2022 title as Armenia and Malta both came through their Semi-Final encounters, on Saturday.
2016 winners Armenia defeated Andorra 93-66, while 2018 champions – and tournament hosts – Malta had earlier beaten Azerbaijan 59-52.
Albert Tatevosyan fired in a tournament best of 35 points including 10-of-16 from three-point range in a scintillating display to lead Armenia to victory. They took complete control through the middle periods of the second Semi-Final as they outscored Andorra 54-29.
Chris Jones weighed in with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists for Armenia as they guaranteed a second medal in tournament history with momentum to take into the Final showdown.
Meanwhile, Malta have already improved upon their third-place finish in the 2021 edition after they came through a tense encounter with Azerbaijan. Samuel Deguara top scored with 18 points along with 11 rebounds, while Tevin Falzon and Nelson Kahler also posted big double-doubles in the win.
It was a one-point game at the half-time break, and Malta only narrowly added to their advantage by taking a low-scoring third period 11-8. Azerbaijan drew level at 52-52 with 3:28 remaining, but were kept off the scoreboard for the rest of the game as Malta took the win.
The Final takes place on Sunday as Gibraltar and San Marino open the day in the 5-6 Classification Game before Andorra and Azerbaijan battle it out for the bronze medal.