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 had 12 points and 6 rebounds|
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.