Cancel
Group:  A | 03.09.2008, 20:30h
Group:  A | 03.09.2008, 20:30h
74-64
18 - 1320 - 1318 - 1718 - 21
18 - 1320 - 1318 - 1718 - 21
Venue: Belgrade (SRB) |
Spectators: 15000 |
Referees: Shmuel Bachar (ISR), Rüstü Nuran (TUR), Bojan Jovanic (BIH)

GAME REPORT


Velickovic, Serbia Bring Bulgaria Down To Earth In Belgrade

Another huge crowd turned out at the Belgrade Arena on Wednesday to help Serbia claim a very important EuroBasket qualifying game triumph over previously unbeaten Bulgaria.

More than 15,000 fans watched in person as Partizan Belgrade star Novica Velickovic scored 20 points in the Blues' 74-64 triumph to leave both teams with three victories from four games and at the top of a very tight Group A.

Velickovic can hit three-pointers with the best of them when he gets hot and that was the case against Bulgaria as he hit six of nine from long range.

Nenad Krstic (Serbia)
Nenad Krstic had 12 points and 6 rebounds
Serbia, who beat Hungary in front of 18,000 fans last week before being upset by Finland on Saturday, led from start to finish against Bulgaria.

Milenko Tepic, another Partizan man, put the first points on the board with a three almost a minute and a half into the contest.

After Filip Videnov replied with a basket for Bulgaria, Velickovic struck with his first three-ball and then Nenad Krstic scored twice in succession for a 10-2 advantage.

The Serbians held an 18-13 lead at the end of the first quarter and though Bulgaria briefly closed the gap to three in the second quarter, the hosts ended up taking a 38-26 lead to half-time.

They went in front by as many as 16 in the third quarter and 21 in the fourth before settling for a 10-point triumph.

Ibrahim Jaaber finished with 12 points to lead the Bulgarian scorers.

Stefan Georgiev poured in 10, grabbed eight rebound and handed out three assists.

Kristic had 12 points and six boards for the Serbians.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Serbia vs. Bulgaria

Pini Gershon, Bulgaria coach:

"Congratulations to the Serbian team. Serbia played better for most of the game. I am very glad that we played in front of so many fans and reporters. At some moments both teams played well but Serbia was shooting better. But this is a satisfying result in the end for us, considering the fact that the point difference at the end could have been bigger for Serbia."

Dusan Ivkovic, Serbia coach:

"We were under certain pressure before the beginning of this game since we were playing against a good opponent and against the team that has a good leadership and already had three wins under their belt in the Group. We played good defense in the first half, doing certain things to stop their offensive rebounding - in the previous games Bulgaria were averaging 14 offensive rebounds and Serbian team had only seven -in the one on one situations (Jabeer) and also to defend their shooters more aggressively. We played on a pretty good level in defense, but we were not decisive enough on offense against their combined defense, and also we took far too many three-point shots. We have to prepare for the next opponent and that is Italy in three days, hoping to have help from the fans like we had in the two home games so far."
 

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

37.7%

23/61
FG
M/A

43.1%

25/58

41.4%

12/29
FG2P
M/A

51.3%

20/39

34.4%

11/32
FG3P
M/A

26.3%

5/19

73.9%

17/23
FT
M/A

52.9%

9/17

37

11/26
RT
RO/RD

37

10/27

16

AS

7

11

TO

14

7

ST

7

5

BS

5

22

PF

21

74

Pts

64

PHOTO GALLERY

Next Games

Serbia

Serbia

Bulgaria

Bulgaria