The Bulgarian national basketball team won its first European Championship victory in 11 years. Led by stars Alexander Vezenkov and Dee Bost, coach Rosen Barchovski’s men outplayed EuroBasket `22 co-host Georgia 92:80 in front of around 8,000 spectators at the Tbilisi Arena.
In the memorable evening, both Vezenkov and Bost achieved a double-double. The American guard with our passport became the top scorer in the match with 33 points and added 12 assists. The Bulgarian wing scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Pavlin Ivanov, who entered from the bench, contributed with 17 points, and Chavdar Kostov and Andrey Ivanov finished with 7 points each.
For the hosts, Goga Bitadze scored 21 points, the naturalized Tadus McFadden added 19 points, and Alexander Mamukelashvili achieved a “double-double” – 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Thanks to their first success in four games in this year’s Old Continent championship, Bulgaria (1-3) displaced Georgia (1-3) from fourth place in the provisional standings of Group A and kept a chance to qualify for the second phase. For that to happen, our team needs a must-win in their last group game – against Belgium (2-2) tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. our time.
The previous success of the “tricolors” in a European championship dates back to their last participation in the tournament – at EuroBasket `11 in Lithuania. Ironically, the last defeated opponent was also the Georgian team – with 79:69 on September 5, 2011 in Klaipeda.