Bitter Taste For Relegated Bulgaria And Belarus

11 July 2009

Bulgaria have reason to be down having lost all of their games at the U18 European Championship for Women.

Their losing streak in Södertälje means the Bulgarians have been relegated to Division B.

Bulgaria coach Stanislav Slaveykov did warn after his team's opening 84-41 defeat to Serbia that his team lacked experience.

But despite not tasting victory in Sweden, Bulgarian players seek comfort in knowing that it has been a great learning experience.

"We cannot be happy because we have lost all of our games here in Södertälje," said Bulgarian forward Nora Georgieva to FIBA Europe.

"But for us to be able to play competitive games and face better teams will no doubt benefit us in the future.

"I have enjoyed my time on the court and this tournament will only make us better and know what the standard of competition is and what we need to do to improve on."

Belarus will also join Bulgaria in Division B.

Having thrashed Bulgaria 82-52 in their opening Classification Round Game to claim their first and only win of the tournament, Belarus lost a heart-breaker to Slovakia.

With Belarus trailing 68-66 with nine seconds remaining, Karalina Padshyvalava missed a three-pointer and Turkey prevailed.

In a win or die game, Belarus lost 64-59 to Slovakia on Friday.

"We are disappointed to have dropped to Division B," said Belarus' Padshyvalava. "We had a close game against Turkey and the win could have gone either way.

"But we lacked experience.

"We are the youngest team in this tournament with an average of 16 so we have a lot to learn."

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