Turkey Roll Into Meeting With Bulgaria

08.09.2009

By Adriana Garcia Senchermes

Bulgaria go into Tuesday's game against Turkey in Wroclaw licking their wounds following a sound beating by EuroBasket hosts Poland.

Pini Gershon's men were hit with a 27-9 first-half run by the Poles that they never recovered from, one that gave the hosts a commanding 44-25 lead just 15 minutes into the game.

The Bulgarians struggled on offense and ended up shooting five of 19 (26,3%) from behind the arc.

Defensively they were out of sorts as well as Poland claimed a 90-78 win.

"We didn't follow our game plan," said Gershon. "I don't know what happened but even the shots we took were not the ones we had practiced."

Gershon understands fully the challenge for his team against a Turkish side that claimed an 84-76 triumph over Lithuania.

"This is a different style of game from that of Poland," said Gershon. "Turkey have more experienced players.

"If we are successful slowing them down and not letting them play inside, then we have a chance.

"If we don't play our style of game, then we'll have no chance."

Turkey go into the game feeling sky high.

Aggressive defense and great shooting, especially from the charity stripe, something they had failed to show in their preparations, was the key to their triumph.

"It was crucial for us to get off to a good start at the EuroBasket," said Turkey's Ender Arslan, who finished nine of 10 (90%) from the free-throw line.

"That is a perfect start for us and now we go into our next game full of confidence."

Stats: Against Bulgaria, Poland made just five of 19 (26%) attempts from three-point range. Turkey were an impressive 27 of 53 (50.9%) from the floor on seven of 17 (54%) from long range against Lithuania.
 
Key Match-Up: Turkey's Ersan Ilyasova vs Bulgaria's Vassil Evtimov
 
X-Factor: Bulgaria veteran Todor Stoikhov struggled against Poland's intense defense, finishing two of eight (25%) from the floor on 35:31 minutes on the court. Stoikhov will have to provide the spark if Bulgaria are to have a chance against the mighty Turks.
 
Sounding-Off: "We have a tough game against Bulgaria but we are ready. If we show the same focus and determination that we displayed against Lithuania, there is no reason why we cannot come out triumphant." - Turkey point guard Ender Arslan.

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