|Forward Aleksandar Vezenkov led Bulgaria to a famous win with his 28 points on 60 percent shooting from the floor|
By Jared Grellet
Division A newcomers Bulgaria stunned European heavyweights Turkey, 95-89 after overtime, in the opening game of Group C at the Samsung U18 European Championship on Thursday.
Giving up an 13-point lead early in the fourth quarter, Bulgaria could not land the killer blow in regulation and had to wait until the end of overtime to celebrate their historic win.
It was a hot-and-cold performance from the Turks who twice had to fight back from significant deficits, after going behind by 19 points midway through the second frame and the 13 points early in the deciding quarter.
When they fought back in the final frame of regulation, it appeared they would use their experience to carry them home in the extra period.
But Bulgaria coach Petko Delev calmed his team down and when they returned to the court at the beginning of overtime they were not about to commit the same mistakes from a quarter earlier, as Kris Minkov remained composed at the free-throw line, making four-from-four in the final moments to seal the win.
Aleksandar Vezenkov lead all scoring with 28 points alongside eight rebounds whilst the impressive guard Deyan Karamfilov added 19 points.
Winger Nikolay Stoyanov chipped in with 15.
Tayfun Erulku was the best of the Turks with 24 points.
Turkey will look to right their campaign when they take on hosts Latvia on Friday, whilst Bulgaria face France.