Unbeaten Cyprus, Malta advance straight into the Semi-Finals
KORCE (Albania) - Cyprus and Malta have both advanced directly to the Semi-Finals of the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship, Division C after making unbeaten starts.
The tournament began on Tuesday with three days of group phase action with Malta and Cyprus both securing 2-0 records to win their respective groups and continue their gold medal hopes.
Malta opened the competition with a 52-38 victory over hosts Albania behind an 18-point, 17-rebound double-double from Anna Fenech Pace. However, their next encounter went right down to the wire as they secured a dramatic 57-56 triumph in overtime to edge Andorra in the Group A decider.
Anna Fenech Pace converted a pair of free throws to win the game; finishing with 18 points and 15 boards with Shanice Farrugia and Sara Fenech Pace also contributing double-doubles against Andorra, who had previously beaten Albania 66-48.
Meanwhile, Cyprus came through the decisive clash in Group B on Thursday with a 62-53 victory over Armenia to advance directly to the Semi-Finals. Mikaella Savva led the way in the win with 27 points along with 12 rebounds as her side used a 17-6 third period to take control.
Cyprus had signalled their intent in their tournament opener having scored 38 first-quarter points on their way to an 81-40 success over Moldova, while Armenia defeated the same opponents 61-43 the following day as Seda Gabrielyan finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds and 7 steals.
The tournament action continues on Friday as Andorra face Moldova, and Armenia meet Albania in the Qualification Games for Semi-Finals ahead of the last four showdowns on Saturday as Cyprus and Malta lie in wait.