Bulgaria opened the European Basketball Championship with a defeat of world champion Spain with 87:114.
For the home team, it was the first match at a big forum in 11 years, and the chance to open the championship with a match against the world leader was a huge honor, but also the hardest possible test for our boys.
Of course, even before the match, Bulgaria was a definite outsider, not only in the match, but also in the group, and the result is definitely not a surprise.
The inexperienced team born at a similar level was far from the level of their opponent, but still managed to score an impressive 87 points. Performance that our team rarely achieves even in matches against more modest opponents. However, the big problem today was the defensive game and the slight mistakes that deprived us of a chance to resist Spain.
But hardly anyone expected a feat against the world champion, and the chances seem small in our next match, when we face the other favorite, Turkey. It seems far more realistic for our boys to dream of victory in the matches against Montenegro, Belgium and the host Georgia.
The Bulgarian team started today’s meeting bravely and ambitiously, and apart from the fact that young Emil Stoilov had the honor of scoring the first basket in the championship, in the first half of the first quarter, our boys were equal.
However, the Spaniards did an excellent job in protecting our star Alexander Vezenkov, who was simply isolated from the game for many large periods, and this seriously affected the overall performance of the team.
As time progressed, the Spaniards began to accumulate their lead, which at the end of the first quarter was already in double digits – 28:17.
The most prominent name in the current Spanish team – Real (Madrid) star Rudy Fernandez – caused us the biggest problems, and missed shots, elementary mistakes in defense and an awful lot of lost tackles contributed to the gap, which continued to increase through The second part.
At halftime, the advance in favor of the Spaniards was already greater than 20 points, and the score on the scoreboard in Tbilisi was 57:35.
The looming crushing loss further affected the self-esteem and confidence of our players, and in the second half of the match the situation did not change much.
However, the most productive third part turned out to be the most even, as Bulgaria lost it with 31:32, and the basis of this was Pavlin Ivanov and his triples – four out of four attempts.
In the end, Bulgaria lost the game 87:114, and the number of points scored by our team speaks for a good job in attack, but our really weak aspect today was defense.
Our star Aleksaner Vezenkov finished with the most points in the game, who made a double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds, and Pavlin Ivanov – 12, Emil Stoilov – 12, and Chavdar Kostov – 13 scored double-digit points for our team.