04 - 09
July 2017
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Cyprus lock down Armenia, while hosts Malta nip Gibraltar

VALLETA (FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship 2017 Division C) - Cyprus and tournament hosts Malta snatched up opening-day wins at the FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship 2017 Division C on Tuesday.

After locking down defensively in the second half, the Cypriot girls came back from a slow start to celebrate a 54-35 victory against Armenia, who were kept to just 10 points after intermission.

Paced by early production by Inga Manucharyan, Armenia had a 14-10 edge after the opening quarter, but things went downhill from there onwards. Cyprus jumped out in front 28-25 in the second period and turned on the defense-fueled afterburners once play resumed after the halftime break.Cyprus ran away with the game after the halftime break

Despina Papaioannou collected a game-high 13 points in just 23 minutes of playing time for Cyprus, who valued the ball much more than their rivals with only 11 turnovers compared to 30 by Armenia.

Andriana Kasapi chipped in with 8 points and 8 rebounds, while Eleni Pilakouta, Natali Ioannou and Rebecca Christodoulou all finished with 7 points apiece for the victors. Meanwhile, Manucharyan was the top-scorer for Armenia with 12 points.

Later in the day, Malta took care of business against Gibraltar 55-51 after a powerful third quarter that saw the tournament hosts overturn a double-digit halftime deficit.
After a slow start, Malta found their rhythm in the second half

Gibraltar had created a 10-point cushion at 29-19 after winning the first two quarters with confidence, but Malta countered by outscoring the visitors 20-7 in the third quarter to turn the scales the other direction.

Kristy Galea led the winners in scoring with 18 points, Kaya Calleja added 11, while Kirsty Caruana chipped in with a near double-double of 10 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Sophie Abela also had a strong all-around game with 7 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.

On the other end, Marta Perez Castro scored more than half of her team's points in a 29-point and 8-rebound personal performance, while Amy Pozo chipped in with 8 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.