All About Basketball In Malta
Malta is a small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea with less than 500 thousand residents. While they do have representatives in a lot of team sports, neither the national team nor the country’s top clubs are much competitive on the international stage.
Nevertheless, basketball in Malta is still somewhat popular, and the country has seen some success in the previous several years. Maltese love watching and betting on basketball as well, and NBA, Euroleague, and college basketball betting are especially popular.
So, what is the national team’s potential and which are the top basketball teams of this tiny country?
Malta National Basketball Team
Malta national basketball team joined FIBA in 1967. They are currently ranked 84th out of 165 national teams on the FIBA World Ranking list. Malta currently doesn’t have a women’s national team.
Malta played their first international game against Cyprus on May 23, 1985. They played in the Eurobasket qualifications twice in 2003 and 2005 and failed to qualify both times.
However, FIBA organizes a European championship for small nations where countries like San Marino, Andorra, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and others have a chance to win some medals. Here is where Malta won their first gold medal last year. They also won silver in 2014 and a couple of bronze medals in 2012 and 2010.
Malta’s basketball team is frequently seen at the GSSE (Games of the Small States of Europe) as well. Here, they’ve won a couple of bronzes and a silver, but they haven’t won a medal since 1997.
Some notable Maltese players include Samuel Deguara, Aaron Falzon, and Tevin Falzon.
Top Basketball Clubs from Malta
The BOV Division 1 is the top-ranking club basketball competition in Malta right now. The top teams include BUPA Luxol, Hibernians, Gzira Athleta, Cynergi Depiro, and Starlites GIG. No teams from Malta qualified for the Euroleague so far. There’s also the BOV Amateur League for Men where there are nine teams competing against each other in a league format, after which the top ones qualify for the playoffs. The highest-ranking women’s league is called MAPFRE MSV Life Women.
Maltese basketball association also organizes several other competitions for different age groups. Boys and girls can compete in the under 14, under 16, under 19, and under 23 leagues.
Basketball Arenas and Courts in Malta
If you want to watch basketball games in Malta, you can do so in several places around the island. The largest basketball hall is in the town of Attard at the Ta Qali Basketball Pavilion where the national team usually plays their games. This is also the place where the headquarters of the Malta Basketball Association is located.
Other halls and arenas include the Depiro Basketball Club, Starlites Basketball Club, and the Hibernians Basketball Club and Nursery.
Outdoor basketball courts are scattered all across the island, and due to the warm climate, you can play basketball outdoors all year around.