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Gibraltar U16's faced second heavy defeat this time against a more sportsmanlike Armenia

Armenia U16 90-38 Gibraltar U16
FIBA Men's Eurobasket 2024, Division C, Albania

Gibraltar defended deeply in the first minutes of the first quarter, denying Armenia scoring opportunities and leaving them with just one point in the first two minutes of play. In contrast, Gibraltar capitalized on their chances, taking an early lead and going ahead 4-1 against all forecasts.
Armenia, who had beaten San Marino in their first match and then given Kosovo a headache by battling until the end, were playing on equal footing with Gibraltar in terms of wins. Having lost against Kosovo 60-88, Armenia and Gibraltar, who had also beaten San Marino and lost to Kosovo, were contending for the runner-up spot in this early Thursday morning match.
Gibraltar managed to maintain their momentum, leading 6-4 halfway through the first quarter. Armenia leveled the score immediately after Navarro missed two free throws. Gibraltar was denied a chance to go ahead by the buzzer, and despite an opportunity with O’Connor stealing, Armenia stopped the offensive and headed for their next basket, taking the lead for the first time at 6-8.
A spirited effort from Gibraltar made for a highly competitive contest, a far cry from their first match in which Kosovo had easily defeated them. The lessons learned from that encounter gave Gibraltar a more determined approach as they battled for every loose ball. However, their efforts were not rewarded with points as they watched Armenia head into double figures while they remained at a lowly 8 until the final forty seconds of the quarter. Armenia went into the short break with an 18-10 lead.
A rampant start to the second quarter saw Armenia add to their tally almost immediately, amassing nine points within the first two minutes. Gibraltar's U16s were in freefall, struggling to get back into the game. Armenia, winning defensive rebounds with ease and with Gibraltar slow in tracking back, continued their scoring spree, making it 34-10 before halfway through the second quarter.
The confidence shown by Gibraltar in the first half soon started to fade away due to mistakes in distribution and a lack of focused movement, allowing Armenia to regain possession quickly. Gibraltar lacked a response and saw Armenia finish the second quarter with a 51-12 lead, scoring 33 points against Gibraltar’s four in just one quarter. It was a devastating blow to the morale of the Gibraltar U16s, who had shown a spirited start in the first quarter but were overwhelmed by Armenia’s offensive in the second quarter.
With the match in the bag, Armenia entered the third quarter at a slower pace. The urgency seen in the second quarter was now reduced, allowing Gibraltar to play under less pressure and score a few baskets. Armenia continued to add to their tally, leading 62-18 halfway through the third quarter, a significant reduction from the scoring rate seen in the second quarter.
As the third quarter neared its end, the scoreline reflected how Gibraltar was once again heading for a hefty defeat. With Armenia already at 70 points with two minutes left in the quarter, they had not exerted themselves much but still managed to outperform Gibraltar, with the score at 26-70. The third quarter finished with Armenia leading 72-31, the highest number of points scored by Gibraltar with 20 points against Armenia’s 21.
Gibraltar added four points to their tally before Armenia responded in the final quarter. Unlike Kosovo, Armenia showed no interest in chasing a high-scoring, humiliating defeat, playing at a more leisurely pace. Armenia walked away with a comfortable 90-38 victory, ensuring they would be competing for the top spots in the tournament, unlike Kosovo, who had aimed to surpass the century mark against Gibraltar.

Stats sourced from fiba.basket

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