Turkey Thump Bulgaria

08.09.2009

By Adriana Garcia Senchermes

Game Summary

Turning Point:
Turkey led 24-17 after 11 minutes played and went on a 13-2 run early in the second quarter to pull away.

Hero: Turkey's Ersan Ilyasova scored his 16 points in the first half and also pulled down seven rebounds.

Key stat: Turkey were 32 of 59 (54%) from the floor while Bulgaria finished 24 of 61 (39%).

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Turkey destroyed Bulgaria 94-66 to secure their spot in the Qualifying Round of EuroBasket on the second day of games in Group D in Wroclaw.

Ender Arslan had a game-high 17 points for the victors on five of seven (71%) shooting from three-point range.

He was one of five Turkish players to finish in double figures.

Bulgaria held on for the first quarter before Turkey pulled away for a convincing victory.

"We just came out to play strong, and we got the win," said Turkey forward Hedo Turkoglu, who contributed with eight points.

"We remained focused and played our game.

"I am delighted with how my teammates are playing, especially those who are playing in their first major tournament.

"The strength of our team is the unity and I think we saw that again today."

Bulgaria trailed 24-17 after 11 minutes played before Arslan scored five points to lead a 13-2 run for Turkey early in the second quarter as Bodgan Tanjevic's men pulled away.

Turkey forward Ersan Ilyasova scored his 16 points in the first half as his side led 53-28.

Bulgaria outscored their opponents 24-19 over the next 10 minutes but Turkey cruised the rest of the way.

"There is little to say except that Turkey were always one step ahead than us," said Bulgaria coach Pini Gershon.

Turkey will now face EuroBasket hosts Poland tomorrow with the top  spot in the group up for grabs.

Turkoglu knows his team will face a mighty challenge.

"Playing in an arena with 5000 Polish fans will not be easy," said Turkoglu."Poland also have taken two wins and are looking good.

"But we look forward to meeting them."

As for Bulgaria, they  have now slumped to back-to-back defeats and will take on Lithuania on Wednesday in a battle for third place with a spot in the Qualifying Round the reward.

The naturalized Bulgarian from the United States, Earl Rowland again led his team in scoring with 15 points.
Turkey were 32 of 59 (54%) from the floor while Bulgaria finished 24 of 61 (39%).

Turkey outrebounded Bulgaria 40-34.


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