|Rares Mandache paced Romania with his clinical three-point shooting, sinking five from downtown|
Rares Mandache made five three-pointers from five attempts to help Romania beat Bulgaria 77-74 on the road in their EuroBasket 2015 1st Qualification Round clash on Saturday.
Romania remain bottom of Group A despite their first win in the competition, having lost both of their first two contests.
They now hold a 1-2 record while Iceland have won once and lost once ahead of their home tie against Bulgaria, now at 2-1, on Tuesday.
Romania looked no slouches in the early stages and after a first period that swung both ways, they surged into a 35-21 lead in the second quarter behind a 9-0 run sparked by a Brice Kabengele jump shot.
The lead reached 22 (46-24) in the first minute of the second half as Mandache connected on a two and three-point jump shot either side of the break to cap another 7-0 sequence.
But Bulgaria battled back. The hosts outscored their opponents 27-16 in the third quarter to bring them back into contention before five straight points from forward Kalojan Ivanov tied things up at 64 with four minutes to play.
However, as was a theme throughout, Mandache made another when it mattered, responding with a big three-pointer to re-establish the lead and puncture Bulgaria's spirit.
This triple took his personal tally to 23 and gave Romania the lift they needed to see out the final stages and hold on for their first win.
Bulgaria's Branko Mirkovich led all scorers with 26 while his teammate Ivanov added 10 points and 10 rebounds and Mihai Silvasan added 21 for Romania.