Croatia88-84

21-24, 19-20, 27-24, 21-16

Bulgaria

 

Date: 16.09.2005, 18:00hGroup:  BVenue:   Podgorica (MNE) Spectators: 3700
Referees:  Eduardo Sancha (ESP), Nikolaos Zavlanos (GRE), Arnis Ozols (LAT)
TEAM LEADERS
Croatia Bulgaria
Gordan Giricek (22)PtsTodor Stoykov (27)
Gordan Giricek (8), Mario Kasun (8)Reb3 players tied with 4
Zoran Planinic (3)ASDimitar Angelov (4), Filip Videnov (4)
Zoran Planinic (3)STFilip Videnov (4), Todor Stoykov (4)
Mario Kasun (4)BS

GAME REPORT

16.09.2005
Croatia Hold Off Bulgaria

Behind the clutch shooting of Matej Mamic and strong second half defense, Croatia held of a gutsy effort from Bulgaria to win 88-84 in the first game of the Group B Preliminary Round in Podgorica.

A close game throughout, Mamic's three-pointers with 3:48 and 1:35 secured Croatia´s hard fought victory and off-set a 27-point performance from Bulgaria's Todor Stoykov. Croatia's second half defense on Stoykov was a key to Croatia's victory as the Bulgarian team captain was held to six points.

"He was tired," Croatian head coach Neven Spahija said of his team´s second half defensive effort against Stoykov. “It's impossible to play the way he did in the first half for an entire game.  But we did better switching and putting pressure on him so he couldn't have as much space to shoot.”

"In the second half, Croatia´s defense stepped up and put more pressure on me,” Stoykov said.

“I also was in foul trouble and couldn't be as aggressive.”

Gordan Giricek led Croatia with 22 points, while Mamic finished with 20 and Zoran Planinic 16.

“We won a very difficult game,” said Mario Kasun, who grabbed a Croatian team high eight rebounds. “They (Bulgaria) are an excellent team.”

Playing in a EuroBasket game for the first time since 1993 and in front of a large contingent of their own fans, Bulgaria opened in a strong fashion against a significantly taller and more experienced Croatian team. They led 24-21 after the first quarter behind 12 points and a pair of assists from Stoykov. The pesky Bulgarian defense caused 12 first quarter Croatian turnovers.

Bulgaria added to their game total in the second quarter, punctuated by a Stoykov three point basket from well beyond the three point line as time expired, giving him 21 for the half. Stoykov connected on four three-pointers in the half.

Planinic, after sitting out the final 7 :25 of the second quarter, opened third quarter scoring with a three point basket and a break away dunk to give his team a one point lead. Giricek also turned up his offense, scoring 11 in the quarter. Bulgaria, with its three-point shooting and gritty downlow play,  kept the game close and still maintained a one-point lead at the end of the quarter.

In the end though, it was too much Croatian scoring power down the stretch of the fourth quarter, which prevented Bulgaria from winning their first EuroBasket game since 1989.

“In the first half, we took quick shots and didn´t take advantage of our size advantage,” Spahija said. “In the second, we changed this.”

“I thought Croatia was one of the favourites to win EuroBasket prior to playing them and I still think the same after having played them,” Bulgarian head coach Rossen Barchovski said.

Croatia will look to improve to 2-0 on Saturday when they take on Lithuania, while Bulgaria will play against Turkey.

NOTES :  The Opening Ceremony for the games in Podgorica were held before the start of the Lithuania-Turkey tip-off. Group B Technical Commissioner Marek Pazucha of Poland declared the opening of the games following a dance routine and the marching of the four participating teams ... Bulgaria's last EuroBasket win was a 91-86 decision over the Netherlands in 1989. .... Angelov Dimitrov and Filip Videnov also scored in double digits for Bulgaria, with 12 points and 11 respectively.

Top performers

Croatia Bulgaria

Matej Mamic

 

Todor Stoykov

20Pts27
4Reb3
1AS3
2ST4
0BS0

Accumulated statistics

Croatia Bulgaria
31/59FG M/A31/72
26/44 (59.1%) FG2P M/A20/45 (44.4%)
5/15 (33.3%) FG3P M/A11/27 (40.7%)
21/29 (72.4%) FT M/A11/16 (68.8%)
36 (10-26) Reb (O-D) 25 (7-18)
12AS11
20TO17
11ST14
5BS0
16PF27
88Pts84

PHOTO GALLERY

CROATIA
NameMinFG2P FG3P FGFTRebASTOSTBSPFPts
M/A%M/A%M/A%M/A%ODTot
4Kasun, M. 224/580.04/580.00/00.01/250.0268120439
5Ukic, R. 60/20.00/10.00/10.02/2100.0000100002
6Popovic, M. 121/333.30/10.01/250.00/00.0000110023
*7Vujcic, N. 284/850.04/757.10/10.02/2100.01342421410
8Prkácin, N. DNP
9Zizic, A. 221/250.01/250.00/00.04/666.7112132016
*10Giricek, G. 379/2142.98/1747.11/425.03/560.03582220222
*11Planinic, Z. 265/683.35/683.30/00.06/875.00443530116
12Tomas, M. 90/20.00/10.00/10.00/00.0033010010
*13Mamic, M. 347/1070.04/4100.03/650.03/475.02241120220
*14Bagaric, D. 50/00.00/00.00/00.00/00.0000010000
15Rancic, D. DNP
TEAM/COACH12300
TOTAL31/ 5952.526/ 4459.15/ 1533.321/2972.410263612201151688
BULGARIA
NameMinFG2P FG3P FGFTRebASTOSTBSPFPts
M/A%M/A%M/A%M/A%ODTot
4Ivanov, D. 21/1100.00/00.01/1100.00/00.0000000003
5Ivanov, K. DNP
*6Banev, T. 243/560.03/560.00/00.02/2100.0134032048
7Radionov, Y. 111/333.30/20.01/1100.00/00.0000000023
*8Videnov, F. 384/1625.01/812.53/837.50/00.00444440411
9Bozov, Y. 51/333.31/1100.00/20.01/250.0101001003
10Davidov, G. 20/10.00/00.00/10.00/00.0000000000
*11Angelov, D. 285/1241.74/757.11/520.01/1100.00224620412
12Georgiev, S. 121/1100.01/1100.00/00.00/00.0011010002
13Mladenov, B. 132/633.32/633.30/00.02/2100.0101000046
*14Dimitrov, H. 313/742.93/742.90/00.03/650.0314031059
*15Stoykov, T. 3310/1758.85/862.55/955.62/366.71233040427
TEAM/COACH05500
TOTAL31/ 7243.120/ 4544.411/ 2740.711/1668.87182511171402784
Legend
MinMinutes playedTotTotal reboundsBSBlocked shots
M/AMade/AttemptsASAssistsPtsPoints
%Shooting percentagePFPersonal fouls*Starters
OOffensive reboundsTOTurnoversDNPDid Not Play
DDefensive reboundsSTStealsFGField Goals
+/-Team's net points while on courtCCommitted foulsDDrawn fouls

GALLERY

TOP PERFORMERS

Croatia Bulgaria

Matej Mamic

 

Todor Stoykov

20Pts27
4Reb3
1AS3
2ST4
0BS0
34Min33

TEAM STATS

Croatia Bulgaria
31/59FG M/A31/72
26/44 (59.1%) FG2P M/A20/45 (44.4%)
5/15 (33.3%) FG3P M/A11/27 (40.7%)
21/29 (72.4%) FT M/A11/16 (68.8%)
36 (10-26) Reb (O-D) 25 (7-18)
12AS11
20TO17
11ST14
5BS0
16PF27
88Pts84

GAME PREVIEW

15.09.2005
Croatia And Bulgaria Both Seeking Return To The Top

Bulgaria and Croatia, two teams with rich basketball histories, match-up against each other in the first game of Group B in Podgorica both seeking a positive start and a return to the top following long absences.

Croatia, Olympic Silver medallists back in 1992, have not climbed onto the EuroBasket podium in 10 years. Following a bronze medal performance at the 1995 edition of EuroBasket, Croatia has failed to finish higher than seventh in the competition. They enter Friday’s night game with a optimistic outlook for the tournament.

“I expect the gold,” Croatian star guard Gordan Giricek said. “It’s a competitive way of thinking. If we are there to compete, then I’m thinking of winning the title, it is the only possible way to reason.”

Gordan Giricek
Gordan Giricek is vital to Croatia's EuroBasket hopes
For Bulgaria, the drought has been far longer. A perennial European team in the 1950’s and 60’s, Bulgaria’s participation in this year’s EuroBasket marks their first appearance since 1993.

Bulgaria’s first attempt at a victory in over a decade will be no small task by going against a Croatian team consisting of NBA talents such as Giricek and Zoran Planinic and Maccabi Tel Aviv big man Nikola Vujcic.

Despite the challenges ahead, Bulgarian head coach Rossen Barchovski is optimistic.

“Faith is the most important word for us. I believe in my players, they know it and they proved they deserved that trust with the way they played in the qualification games,” he said.

The game features a pair of top perimeter scorers in Bulgarian team captain Todor Stoykov and Croatia's Giricek. In the six qualification games, Stoykov led the team in points (19.3), rebounds (6.2), assists (4.0) and steals (1.3). Giricek, considered one of the top shooting guards in Europe, started in 44 games with the Utah Jazz this past season.

Bulgaria’s young and inexperienced team, which consists of the guard tandem of 19-year-old twins Dejan and Kalojan Ivanov, will have to rise to the challenge quickly against Croatia’s more experienced roster.

"I believe that we have enough weapons to stay in the game and if we are strong enough mentally, we can do it," Bulgarian guard Filip Videnov said.
 
GAME NOTES

GAME: B1 – Croatia vs. Bulgaria
TIME: 18:00
WHERE: Podgorica
RECORDS: Croatia 0-0, Bulgaria 0-0
KEY MATCH-UP: Bulgaria’s lefty forward Todor Stoykov and Croatia's Gordan Giricek can both put up points in a hurry.
INJURIES: CRO - Croatia shooting guard Marino Bazdaric has been ruled out of EuroBasket because of a wrist injury. BUL – After struggling with a knee injury, guard Yordan Bozov has recovered and is ready for the competition.
OTHER NOTES: Dejan and Kalojan Ivanov were members of  Bulgaria’s 2004 U18 roster.