Prostran, Croatia Edge Bulgaria

26.07.2008

Toni Prostran scored 23 points - including the final four of the game - in leading Croatia to a 71-67 win over Bulgaria to remain top of Group D at the U18 European Championship for Men.

Ivan Ramljak added 16 points and Mario Delas chipped in 15 points and nine rebounds for Croatia, which improved to 2-0.

Bulgaria dropped to 0-2 despite 15 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals by Hristo Zahariev while Aleksandar Yanev added 12 points and Ivo Slavchev and Bozhidar Avramov both had 11.

Yordan Kolev's Bulgarians scored the first eight points and led 11-2 midway through the first quarter. Croatia answered with an 8-0 run before trailing 17-14 after one period. Avramov's three-ball gave Bulgaria a 28-23 lead which Croatia equalised at 28-28 going into the break.

Bulgaria started the third period better and eventually built a 10-point advantage late - 51-41 on Dimitre Marintchechki's three-ball.

Delas converted a three-point play and Croatia trailed 51-46 after three periods. Avramov's triple pushed the advantage back to nine - 57-48. And it was still 64-56 after Zahariev's basket.

But Prostran hit a three-pointer and a jumper in a 9-0 run for a Croatian lead. With the game knotted at 67-67, Prostran then knocked down a floating jumper with 23 seconds left. Avramov turned over the ball with 18 seconds to play and Tihomir Zhelev was then whistled for an intentional foul with 12.8 seconds left. Prostran drained both shots from the stripe to decide the game.


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