EUROBASKET 2015 QR
|Aleksandar Vezenkov showed a very promising performance for Bulgaria|
The Netherlands put in a strong defensive effort late in their Wednesday Group B clash with Bulgaria at home to secure a 66-57 win in EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round day 4 action.
The Dutch are now in first place in the group, together with Israel, while Montenegro stand at 2-2 and Bulgaria have recorded their fourth loss in as many games and are out of contention for a top-two finish in the pool.
The hosts for the entire first period but Bulgaria enjoyed their best stretch on the offensive end during the second quarter, grabbed a 40-39 lead by the half-time break and extended the gap to 44-41 early in the third.
Roeland Schaftenaar however, with a free-throw 5:51 from the third buzzer, sparked a 9-0 Dutch run which Thomas Koenis capped off with a lay-up just over two minutes later.
The hosts claimed a 50-44 lead and never looked back again, as they gave up only 13 points to Bulgaria in the final 18 minutes of the game.
Schaftenaar paced the Dutch with 17 points and seven boards, while Koenis and Arvin Slagter chipped in with 12 points apiece, the former also adding seven rebounds.
Young star Aleksandar Vezenkov delivered another promising performance for Bulgaria and finished with 26 points and five rebounds in a losing effort.