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Basketball past week round-up

The Chus Mateo academy summer basketball camp for 8-16-year olds was back in Gibraltar once again with coaches from the academy running the camp in conjunction with GABBA. The camp, which has proven popular in recent years coincided with the football summer camp this time seeing both sports sharing the crop of sporting talent in Gibraltar. Other years some youngsters have enjoyed both camps as neither coincided with the other.

U16 girls find it tough
The Under 16 girls’ basketball team faced what their head coach has described as some very tough competition in their recent FIBA U16 European Championship Division C tournament in Moldova. Gibraltar lost their first match 62-36 against Moldova and then went on to lose 73-35 against Georgia. A rest day was to prove detrimental to the young squad who did not get into their game mode and were to lose 58-17 against Malta in the classification group stage. Gibraltar was then to lose their final match 58-29 against Wales to finish at the foot of the table. After the tournament Gibraltar’s coach was to point out that their opponents had presented some very strong teams showing that there is rotation among players within the other countries, something which is at present lacking locally due to the small pool of players available. However, the young teams provided proof that they can compete when in the first matches they led in the first quarters.

U16 boys finish seventh
The Under 16 boys’ basketball team had a mixed bag of results with some crucial successes in the U16 European Championship Division C held in Albania.
Gibraltar started the group phase with a defeat at the hands of Andorra by 72-64. The team had led in the first two quarters before they became unstuck in the third quarter.
They were to lose their next match against wales. The Welsh side leading on points throughout the whole match. Wales were 15-10 ahead after the first quarter before they went on to win 60-37.
Gibraltar was to next play against San Marino in the Classification Group 5-9. This was to prove an important win which saw Gibraltar take it 56-37.
They were, however, to lose against Moldova, 61-46 and then Albania 47-74. The Gibraltar U16 finishing 7th overall with San Marino and Malta behind them.
The division was to be won by Luxembourg with Andorra taking second place and Wales third. Scotland was to end up fourth, followed by Albania in fifth and Moldova in sixth.

Under 18s head to Andorra
Gibraltar men’s U18 will be heading for Andorra within the coming days as they head of to play in the FIBA U18 European Championships.
Gibraltar’s young lads have been hard at training, having also to content with the fact that their schedules were interrupted by the fact GABBA was fully committed this summer in hosting the basketball Island Games tournament.
The boys have been grouped alongside Armenia, Albania, San Marino and Malta in Group B. In Group A are Andorra, Cyprus, Monaco and Moldova.
Gibraltar’s first match will be on Monday 29 when they play San Marino. They then play Armenia the next day before playing Malta on Wednesday. Their final group match will be against Albania. They will then have to see to which phase of the Classification group stages they head to.
The women’s Under 18 team, many of which will have played in the Under 16 tournament this past weekend, will also be heading to Andorra where they will be playing in the U18 Women’s European Championship.
The women’s teams will start their competition on July 30, two days after the men, finishing on August 4.
Only seven teams will be competing in the Division C tournament with Gibraltar playing in Group B where only three teams have been drawn together.
Gibraltar have been drawn against Georgia and Armenia, the latter they play first at 5pm on July 30.
The U18’s tournament coincides with Gibraltar also being represented on the same days in hockey in which Gibraltar hosted seven other nations in a Euro Hockey Championships, and Lincoln Red Imps’ Europa League matches. Gibraltar once again firmly on the international sporting map this summer with three of their core sports.

Gibraltar’s FIBA Basketball world ranking
Very little is spoken about when it comes to Gibraltar’s world ranking in basketball. However, a quick glance at the FIBA World Rankings published in February on their official FIBA Europe website will see Gibraltar’s men’s team included among the list of 165 nations listed.
Although Gibraltar seldom plays internationally except for the Island Games and within FIBA Europe Small Countries tournaments, the men have climbed at least one position in the past year rising to 147 in a list of 165.
The basketball world ranking list is topped by the USA followed by Spain, France and Serbia.
Gibraltar is among the lowest ranked European nation sitting some nineteen places below Moldova.
Surprisingly some of the nations which Gibraltar faces in Small Countries tournaments such as Georgia and Montenegro sit at 26 and 28 respectively. Andorra sits at 81 with Malta at 84. With even sides like San Marino sitting at 116 in the world rankings.
The list provides a significant overview of the position of Gibraltar’s basketball with respect to other nations against which its youth teams face in FIBA Europe competitions. It, however, has its positives in that Gibraltar is far from the bottom of the world ranking tables as with quite a few countries with much bigger populations sitting well below Gibraltar.
Gibraltar’s youth teams have also, in recent years had to face sides such as Austria, a nation which is ranked 55 in the FIBA World Rankings. The FIBA World Rankings Presented by Nike was last updated in February 2019.
Gibraltar’s opponents in the European Championship for Small Countries last year included, Moldova ranked at 128, Norway ranked at 88, Andorra ranked at 81, San Marino ranked at 116, Ireland ranked at 106 and Malta ranked at 84.
In the youth tournaments it also plays against Albania ranked at 11, Austria ranked 55.

World Country European
2. Spain 1
3. France 2
4. Serbia 3
6. Lithuania 4
7. Slovenia 5
8. Greece 6
9. Croatia 7
10. Russia 8
13. Italy 9
15. Latvia 10
17. Turkey 11
19. Ukraine 12
21. Finland 13
22. Germany 14
24. Czech Republic 15
25. Poland 16
26. Georgia 17
28. Montenegro 18
29. Belgium 19
35. Israel 20
36. Hungary 21
40. Bosnia & Herzegovina 22
41. Netherlands 23
42. North Macedonia 24
44. Great Britain 25
45. Estonia 26
47. Bulgaria 27
50. Iceland 28
54. Sweden 29
55. Austria 30
56. Belarus 31
61. Romania 32
62. Portugal 33
65. Switzerland 34
69. Denmark 35
75. Slovakia 36
78. Armenia 37
81. Andorra 38
84. Malta 39
88. Norway 40
90. Kosovo 41
93. Cyprus 42
97. Luxembourg 43
103. Azerbaijan 44
106. Ireland 45
114. Albania 46
116. San Marino 47
128. Moldova 48
147. Gibraltar 49