|14 July 2007|
Slovenia brushed aside their disappointment of not reaching the semi-finals of the U20 European Championship Men and advanced to the game for fifth place with a 79-59 victory over Bulgaria.
Gasper Vidmar scored 23 points and Emir Preldzic had 20 while Matej Krusic chipped in 14 points off the bench for the co-hosts Slovenia, who will play Israel on Sunday for fifth place.
Chavdar Kostov paced Bulgaria with 20 points while Ivan Lilov scored 17 points.
Slovenia opened a 12-4 lead, but Ivan Lilov and Kostov both drained three-pointers in pulling Bulgaria ahead 14-13. Ivan Chokalov's team were up 20-17 late in the first quarter until Preldzic's three-pointer tied the game - 20-20 - after one period.
It was still tied 22-22 when the Bulgarian offense went ice cold, missing 10 of their final 11 shots in the second quarter to fall behind 38-27 at the break.
Slovenia coach Miro Alilovic regularly rotated his players but still pulled away in the third quarter, opening a game-high 24 point lead late in the period - 66-42.
Bulgaria, who will face Turkey for seventh place, could only get to within 17 points the rest of the way.