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Basketball: Gibraltar team heads to to Albania to play in the Promotions Cup

Gibraltar will today, be playing its first match in the 2006 edition of the FIBA Europe Promotions Cup, a competition which allows the winners the opportunity to be 'promoted' to the upper tiers of European basketball. The competition is being held in Albania and Gibraltar have been drawn in Group A alongside Moldova, Andorra and Malta. Group B consists of the hosts Albania, Azerbaijan, Wales and San Marino.

In the same competition, 2004, Gibraltar finished in 7th position out of nine, with Andorra winning the tournament. The favourites, this year however, will be the Moldavians, who have a strong squad, with many players based abroad. Adam Cassaglia (pictured) was Gibraltar's best player, in the 2004 competition. He came in 14th place overall, with 64points in four games.

Gibraltar's selection is as follows:
Andrew David Barratt
Edgar Anthony Bocarisa
Darren Lawrence Borge

Stephen Britto
Sam Buxton
Adam John Cassaglia
Stuart Felice
Raul Garcia Fernandez
Angel Guerrero Torres
Fabian Joseph Marzan
Jared Olivero
Jordan Ramagge
Robert Randall
Aaron John Turner

The Maltese National team has been preparing for this competition, throughout the year, under National Coach Bruno Di Pietrantonio. In the last weeks, as soon as the National league was over, the national team trained daily to ensure that the best possible results are obtained in this competition.

The following players have been selected to represent Malta:

CLub: Players' names:
Luxol: Silvio Cassar, Dirk Schembri, Steve Schembri, Chris Sammut
Pembroke: Michael Naudi, Etienne Bezzina, Adrian Micallef, Kristin Baldacchino
Hamrun: Omar Said
Siggiewi: Peter Shoults, Jean Paul Bonnici

Malta's national coach said that he’s "very confident that the work done in the last months, will at the end be fruitful for the national team and for Maltese Basketball in general". He confirmed that despite the young average age of th team, there are many players with a lot of international experience.

There are 6 Moldavian women players and 19 men players, who currently play abroad. As the Moldavian league is fully amateur and Moldavian teams do not play in any of the European cup competitions, the only chance to make some money from playing basketball is to move abroad, where Moldavian players can sign pro contracts. The most common place for Moldavians to go abroad are neighbouring Romania, Ukraine and Belarus. But they also play in many other European countries, with solid pro leagues like France, Germany, Greece and a few others.

We wish the Gibraltarian team the best of luck in their forthcoming matches.

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