The Bulgarian men’s national basketball team will face the hosts from Georgia tonight at 20:00 Bulgarian time in their fourth match of the group stage of EuroBasket 2022. The must-win game for the Lions will be held in front of the full stands of the Tbilisi Arena in the Georgian capital.
After the end of the first three rounds, Rosen Barchovski’s boys occupy the last sixth position in their group “A” with three losses and without a single win. Georgia occupies the fifth place with a balance of 1-2, and with a possible success today, the “crusaders” will finally eliminate Bulgaria from the battle for a place in the top 4.
As is known, the Bulgarian team started the tournament with two consecutive losses against the favorites in the group, Spain and Turkey, and then – two days ago, they also lost to Montenegro with 81:91. The “Lions” performed strongly against their opponent after winning the first half and even had a fragile lead at 75:73 in their favor, but in the end their strength again ended in the final fragments of the match and the Montenegrins managed to inflict a run through to achieve the valuable success and push the Bulgarians to the wall.
Unfortunately, in the game in question, the tricolors lost one of their most important basketball players – Stanimir Marinov, who suffered a strain in his right thigh in the first half, which forced him to watch the game from the bench. However, his injury is not that serious and Marinov is questionable for tonight’s fight. Before the match, our national team will have a training session in the hall at noon.
Criticism of Dee Bost’s performance is already gaining serious proportions, especially after his disappointing performance in the match against Montenegro. Aleksandar Vezenkov scored a tournament-high 26 points, but the naturalized American again had a lackluster game, ultimately finishing the matchup with the Montenegrins with just 1 point on 0-7 shooting from the three-point line and no two-point field goal attempts. Defensively, the guard also has some chops to split, and today he will face two of the fastest players on the perimeter from the Georgian team – Tad McFadden and Rati Andronikashvili.
Tbilisi Arena was in ecstasy two days ago after the hosts created a sensation against Team Turkey, beating them 88-83 after two overtimes in an epic duel. Even without Tornike Shengelia and Goga Bitadze, the Georgians showed heart and character as they were led by a double-double from Milwaukee Bucks wing Sandro Mamukelashvili, who finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Thad McFadden and Rati Andronikashvili had 17 and 15 points, respectively, veteran Giorgi Shermandini also scored 15 and Duda Sanadze had 13 points.
It was Sanadze’s name that was involved in a huge scandal in the match, after the end of which it became clear that he, Shengelia, Bitadze and two policemen chased and chased the rival player Furkan Korkmaz and his physiotherapist in the corridors on the way to the dressing rooms. Yesterday, the Turkish camp demanded that heavy sanctions be imposed on the Georgians by FIBA, while Sanadze himself stated that there was no physical contact and the story presented by Korkmaz and company was greatly exaggerated.
Today, the matches of group “A” begin with a match between Belgium and Turkey at 14:30 Bulgarian time, and from 17:15 the duel between Montenegro and Spain begins.
LIKELY TITLE FIVE:
GEORGIA: Thad McFadden, Rati Andronikashvili, Duda Sanadze, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Giorgi Shermandini
BULGARIA: Dee Bost, Pavlin Ivanov, Chavdar Kostov, Alexander Vezenkov, Andrey Ivanov