Game Hero: Mirza Teletovic receives the majority of defensive attention for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it was Gordic that stepped up in the second half to score all of his 17 points after halftime, including some fearless drives to the basket and three triples.
Stats Don't Lie: Bosnia and Herzegovina needed something special to steal the win. Six of seven made baskets to begin the last quarter got the job done.
|Marko Sutalo and Bosnia and Herzegovina finally have the weight of getting their first win off their back|
Bosnia and Herzegovina collected an inspiring first win of EuroBasket 2013 by beating Montenegro 76-70, fighting back from a 10-point three-quarter time deficit.
Montenegro dropped a second-straight thrilling game, this time giving up a 10-point three-quarter time lead as Nemanja Gordic propelled Bosnia and Herzegovina back with seven points in the final quarter.
"Gordic came off the bench when things weren't looking good and he gave us the positive influence on the court and for all the other players and in the end we made some huge shots," said coach Aleksander Petrovic.
"What can I say? This is our basketball. Sometimes it looks like we don't have a system, but we know exactly what we are doing," added star guard Nihad Djedovic.
"Somebody had to step up. Today it was Gordic. The bench guys showed today they can play basketball."
Bosnia and Herzegovina looked anything like a team capable of winning the game for large stretches.
Montenegro withstood some hot shooting from Mirza Teletovic to take a four-point lead into quarter time thanks to a Sead Sehovic buzzer-beating triple from way downtown .
Bosnia and Herzegovina scored seven unanswered points, jumping in front as Teletovic hit double figures, however a three-of-four quarter effort from long range enabled Montenegro to maintain their lead heading into the second half.
Bojan Dubljevic sparked an 8-1 run early in the third quarter and Montenegro never looked back. Huge dunks to Teletovic and Nemanja Gordic sparked momentary excitement, but seven made free throws and some poor shooting from the floor resulted in Bosnia and Herzegovina falling behind by double-digits.
Bosnia and Herzegovina's run to begin the final quarter, featuring four momentum destroy triples, put the underdogs in front with just under five minutes remaining and they never looked back.
Coach Petrovic understands qualifying for the second round remains a big ask.
"For us it's important we stay in the tournament, but I don't know if this victory is going to be enough," he said.
"We'd like to play a big part in the European championship until the last second of the fifth game.
"We have an opportunity in the next two games against Macedonia in 48 hours and Lithuania in the last game.
"The players made a lot of people happy in Bosnia and here in Slovenia and this is the best thing and I'm sure now against Macedonia we're going to play our best game."