Bulgaria’s national basketball team suffered its second consecutive EuroBasket loss. The Lions lost to Turkey 87:101 at the Tbilisi Arena. The graduates of Rosen Barchovski played an excellent first half, after which they had a lead of 52:50, but they could not keep the pace of the extremely strong selection of our southern neighbors in the second part.
Alexander Vezenkov played another great match for us. The Olympiakos star finished with a double-double – 28 points and 15 rebounds. Chavdar Kostov finished with 15 points, and Dee Bost added 12 more, and with 13 assists he also completed a “double-double” on his account. Emil Stoilov scored 8 points, and Dimitar Dimitrov and Alexander Yanev remained with 7 each.
Jedi Osman was the top scorer for the winners with 25 points, and Alperen Shengyun added 20 more. Shane Larkin was assisted by a double-double with 13 points and 9 assists.
The Bulgarians remain without a win, and on Sunday they will aim for one against Montenegro at 2:30 p.m. The Turks have two wins so far, and tomorrow they face the hosts from Georgia.
The clash in Tbilisi started with a basket after a break by Seibir, but ours responded with a three-pointer by Chavdar Kostov. The “Lions” took the lead 6:4 after another accurate shooting from the three-point zone by Stanimir Marinov. A new triple by Dee Bost put the Bulgarians ahead with 11:8. The great play of both teams in attack continued, with Sasha Vezenkov giving Bulgaria a 15:13 lead. In the counterattack, Marinov fouled Shanla, and this was the guard’s second foul, and he was replaced by Pavlin Ivanov. Shortly before the first part was cut in half, a great break by Pavlin Ivanov ended with a pass to Emil Stoilov, who converted for 19:17.
Our southern neighbors went ahead with 23:21 after an excellent pass under the basket by Larkin for Alperen Shengyun. A mistake by Vezenkov and a serve by Jedi Osman made the score 21:25. The “Lions” responded with a three-pointer by Kostov. Ours came out ahead in the result after a breakthrough by Vezenkov, who realized his eighth point in the match for 26:25. Bost made a mistake, and it was not difficult for Shehmus Hazer to score in 26:29 minutes before the end. Just before the final siren for the first part, Dimitar Dimitrov made a three-pointer from a difficult position in 29:31.
The second period began with an excellent break and a basket by Vezenkov, who became the first basketball player on the floor with a double-digit number of points. The high pace continued in these minutes as well, with Bulgaria once again taking the lead after Bost’s three-pointer – 35:33. Three minutes after the start of the part, Bost scored another three-pointer for 38:35. The Turks ended their scoreless streak with Shengyun’s accurate turnaround shot. However, ours immediately responded with two points to Mitko Dimitrov. With two accurate penalty kicks, the lead of the Bulgarians became seven points – 42:35.
Shengyun continued to be the only basketball player of Turkey at the level in these minutes and with another difficult shooting reduced the lag of his own – 42:37. Kostov missed the three-pointer, but great work by Bost in attack led to another seven-point lead for Bulgaria. Jedi Osman responded with a triple – 44:40. Another great breakthrough by the Bulgarians, this time by Bost, and an assist to Alexander Yanev returned our advance to 4 points – 46.42. After three-pointers by Djedi Osman and Buygrahan Tungjer, the Turks reached a tie 48:48. A basket with Ivan Alipiev’s siren put Bulgaria ahead with 52:50 after the first half.
Immediately after the break, Turkey took the lead after another triple by Osman. Again, Cleveland’s winger completed a quick attack, and ours answered with two consecutive three-pointers by Chavdar Kostov for 58:55. Hazer quickly put one back for another draw. Our southern neighbors pulled away with five points after a great assist by Larkin for Osman – 66:61. Four consecutive penalty kicks by Vezenkov brought the Bulgarians closer to just one point from their rival. Melih Mahmutoolu came out of cover and scored a three-pointer in his own style, after which he also received a technical foul. Vezenkov was accurate from the penalty line for 66:71. After another two points by Shengyun, the lead of the Turks became seven – 66:73, which forced Rosen Barchovski to take a timeout. A second before the end, Vezenkov was fouled by Shengyun, but made only one of the penalty kicks for 71:75.
THE FOURTH PART
Yanev scored the first points for Bulgaria in the last period, and managed to win a penalty kick, which he missed. Shengyun’s powerful dunk followed for 73:79. A three-pointer by Melih put our rival ahead by nine – 72:82. A successful Shengyun shot past Dimitrov put the margin in double figures for the first time in the game, prompting Barchovski to call another timeout. The series of the Turks was interrupted after a three-pointer by Vezenkov far behind the arch – 76:84.
In those minutes, Larkin also played, who scored a basket with a free kick after a break under the basket – 77:89. A powerful dunk by Osman, after he had received the ball, largely decided the outcome of the match – 77:92. Larkin continued his penalty action with a three-pointer, and Emil Stoilov scored for 81:95. Two minutes before the end, Ataman took out Osman and Larkin. Three consecutive baskets by the Bulgarians reduced their deficit to 87:96. Tunger stopped the streak with a mid-range basket. A new accurate shooting by Melih from the three made the final score 87:101.
Bulgaria – Turkey
Bulgaria: Dee Bost, Chavdar Kostov, Stanimir Marinov, Alexander Vezenkov, Emil Stoilov
Breeder: Rosen Barchowski
Turkey: Shane Larkin, Jeddi Osman, Sertach Sanlu, Yigitjan Saibir, Bygrahan Tunger
Breeder: Ergin Ataman