Bulgaria, Estonia Grab Lead In Group H

15 July 2013
8. Nikolay Stoyanov (Bulgaria)
Nikolay Stoyanov helped Bulgaria out with 11 points, also picking up 3 steals

Bulgaria claimed their first win in dramatic fashion and tournament hosts Estonia were dominant on Monday to take the early initiative in Group H at the Sportland U20 European Championship in Tallinn.

The hosts enjoyed a comfortable 74-52 rout of Georgia while earlier Bulgaria had come from behind to snatch victory off the hands of Sweden, 61-57.

Bulgaria began on 2-for-15 shooting from three-point range and trailed the Swedes throughout most of the game, if always by a small margin.

Sweden started the final frame by taking a six-point lead until a cool-as-ice Pavlin Ivanov sunk his first triple in the encounter with just 1:33 left on the clock to put Bulgaria ahead, 56-55.

Ivanov returned to defence, forced a Swedish turnover and fired a second three-point shot but this time around he missed, only for Angel Natskin to somehow grab the offensive rebound in traffic and give Bulgaria a good-as-gold 3-point lead with a lay-up, 33 seconds from the final buzzer.

Natskin led the charge with 14 points for Bulgaria, who outscored the Scandinavian side 17-9 in the final six minutes; Dimitar Dimitrov had 12 points and six rebounds for the winners, while Nikolay Stoyanov contributed 11 points and three steals.

Sweden's Jesper Eliasson led all scorers with 15 points and added eight rebounds in a losing effort.

Oliver Metsalu (Estonia)
Oliver Metsalu and Estonia recorded a first win in the classification round in dominant style over Georgia

In the second game in the group, Estonia passed the ball around so efficiently that they dished out 22 assists to Georgia's four, and took a 42-28 lead overt their guests at the interval.

The hosts put in an excellent defensive effort after the two games returned from the locker rooms to hold Georgia to just seven points during the entire third quarter and extend their lead to 24 points by the end of the period.

Estonia relaxed somewhat in the final quarter while Georgia discovered again solutions on the offensive end, but the gap stayed more or less unchanged until the final buzzer.

Martin Paasoja led all scorers with 25 points and added seven rebounds, while Oliver Metsalu collected a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds and Rait-Riivo Laane finished with 12 points and eight assists for the winners.

For Georgia, Otar Pkhakadze had 13 points and Revaz Rogava added 10 in defeat.

On Tuesday, Bulgaria will face Georgia and the hosts will go up against Sweden.


23.07.2013 - U20 MEN DIVISION A
22.07.2013 - U20 MEN DIVISION A
22.07.2013 - U20 MEN DIVISION A
22.07.2013 - U20 MEN DIVISION A

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