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Bulgaria Finish On High Note

27 August 2014
EUROBASKET 2015 2nd QR

41. Aleksandar Vezenkov (Bulgaria)
Aleksandar Vezenkov led the way for Bulgaria with 20 points and eight rebounds

Bulgaria snapped a five-game losing streak on the final day of their EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round Group B campaign by registering a 69-61 victory over Israel on the road.

Israel had already secured top spot in the group and a berth at the EuroBasket on Day 5.

Released of any stress, the Israeli side entered the contest in celebratory mood and entertained the crowd in Cyprus early on with their free-flowing game, to jump to a 47-30 lead shortly after the start of the second half.

But Bulgaria were not going to end their campaign without tasting victory.

A lay-up in transition by Hristo Zahariev sparked a 9-0 Bulgarian run that Aleksandar Vezenkov capped off with a jumper right at the third buzzer, to reduce the gap to 52-45.

Lior Eliyahu made it 57-49 for Israel with 6:59 remaining but Bozhidar Avramov drilled a triple with 4:25 left on the clock to tie the scores at 59, and on the next possession Zahariev drove to the basket and gave Bulgaria the lead, 61-59.

Somewhat shocked by this unexpected development, Israel only managed to score one basket in the final four minutes while Vezenkov and Stanimir Marinov sunk three-pointers in quick succession on the other end to seal the win for Bulgaria.

Vezenkov paved the way for the Bulgarians with 20 points and eight rebounds, Avramov added 14 points and Zahariev chipped in with 12 points.

For Israel, Eliyahu finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in defeat.

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