Istvan Nemeth poured in 27 points to help fire Hungary past Bulgaria and keep alive their hopes of reaching the next stage of the additional qualiying tournament in Spain.
The Bulgarians could have won for the third time in four games, but lost 74-67.
|Istvan Nemeth had a game-high 27 points for Hungary|
The outcome means they have two wins from four games, while Hungary are 1-2 heading into Saturday’s clash against Bosnia-Herzegovina who are 2-1.
Should the Hungarians win that game, goal differential will be used to determine which team wins the group as all three sides would be 2-2.
Hungary’s fans will be mighty happy that their side put up a terrific fight against Bulgaria, a team that played at EuroBasket 2005 in Serbia & Montenegro.
The Bulgarians played very well.
Deyan Ivanov scored six points as the visitors established a 16-13 lead by the end of the first quarter, but Hungary struck back in the next period.
A Balazs Simon basket put the home side into a 20-18 advantage.
After an Ivanov three-point play cut Hungary’s lead to 23-21 with 6:30 to go in the first half, the home side reeled off six consecutive points on baskets from Tamas Kaman and Zolten Bencze and two free throws from Marton Bader.
Bulgaria held their nerve and twice closed the tap to just two points in the third quarter but weren’t able to get on level terms.
They eventually pulled even at 55-55 with just under seven minutes remaining after a lay-up by Stefan Georgiev.
This time, Hungary showed their class with a Simon three-point play sparking an 8-0 run that put them in control for good.
Hungary shot the ball very well from long range, making nine of 17 (52.9%) shots from the arc
Nemeth was five of 10 (50%) and Kaman three of five (60%).