Malta made an important step towards their ambitions for FIBA Small Countries Games gold with a 73-71 win against Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
It was a fight between two sides tipped as favourites but Malta came out on top with a fourth-quarter surge.
Malta’s Samuel Deguara led the game’s scoring with 28 points, while David Bugeja scored 18, and Nathan Xuereb added 12 in an impressive performance for the Gzira Athleta guard.
As expected, Jordan Davis led the Azeri scoring with 22 points, while Orhan Haciyeva added 18, Amil Hamzayev scored 13, and Zahur Pashayev rounded the double-digit scorers with 11.
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