|Kris Minkov came up with his best performance of the tournament when it mattered most|
Bulgaria emerged 82-81 winners from a nail-biting overtime clash with Montenegro that could have gone either way and will continue to compete next year in Division A of the U20 European Championship.
Turning Point: In what was basically a game of runs, Montenegro appeared to be dealing the decisive last blow when they obtained a 67-58 lead with just 4:05 remaining in regulation. Aleksandar Vezenkov converted an and-one play to ignite a reaction by his team and Bulgaria employed an effective half-court press to force Montenegro to lose possession and tie the scores at 75 at the end of regulation.
Game Hero: With four seconds left to play in regulation, Bulgaria's Kris Minkov shaked and baked the Montenegro defence, took the left lane and finished with a lay-up to tie the scores. With 1:30 remaining in overtime, he took the baseline and repeated a similar move to score the winning basket for Bulgaria. Minkov finished with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds and added six assists.
Stats Don't Lie: In a game of these characteristics every little counts and Bulgaria sure took care of details by hitting 18 of their first 19 free throws in the game, with the last two missed free throws by Minkov coming almost at the final buzzer.
The Bottom Line: Bulgaria cannot finish below second place in Group G and have therefore avoided entering the relegation battle. Montenegro will know by the end of the day their final position in the standings and the opponent they will face from Group H in their Friday survival battle.