Scotland found 7ft 3 giant Samuel Deguara too much to cope with, losing 71-63 to Malta in their opener of the European Basketball Championship for Small Countries in San Marino. Deguara scored 21 points and took ten rebounds but also prominent was Malta’s American-born guard Darryl Jackson who scored 15 points.
Skipper Gareth Murray (Glasgow Rocks) converted only three of his 13 attempts for a 14-point tally, but did sink seven of eight free throws.
Danny Huffor, his Rocks team-mate, on his tournament debut for Scotland, top-scored with 17, but he converted only five from 14 field goal attempts and only four from 12 from the free throw line. Nic Collins (St Mirren) scored 16 points and ten rebounds and ex-Edinburgh Kings junior Ali MacKay scored six and took four rebounds. Scotland must now beat San Marino today and Wales tomorrow to reach the semi-finals.
Scotland’s women, who are preparing for their European Small Countries Tourney in Struga, Macedonia, beat Austria 49-43 in Vienna on Saturday. Falkirk’s Mairi Buchan picked up a knee injury and was due to have an MRI scan yesterday.