Georgian U18 Team Lost Its First Game at European Championship Against Bulgaria

Georgian U18 Team Lost Its First Game at European Championship Against Bulgaria

Georgian U18 team lost its first game at European Championship (“B” Division). Following two victories, our team, coached by Davit Rogava, faced Bulgaria, which won one and lost one game during the group phase. Bulgaria, like Georgia, defeated Kosovo (85:65) and lost by one point to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bulgarians took the lead against Georgians from the start. They had 8 points advantage in first quarter and by the second period, they were winning 12 points- 40:28. David Rogava changed strategy and our boys began to score points cutting the deficit to 7 points in the third quarter.

The battle for victory was equal in the final quarter of the game, but the Bulgarians maintained a small advantage. Giorgi Ochkhekidze’s performance in our team should be highlighted, we should distinguish Giorgi Sulaberidze as well. 4 minutes before the final siren Georgians were taking lead thanks to Guga Natsvlishvili’s brilliant attack, we were winning 1 point 56:55

The last minute of the game was about to begin when Georgians were leading by one point (61:60) and attacking, but Sulaberidze lost the ball and stealer Ilian Pishtkovi was all alone under our rim, scoring and putting Bulgarians ahead. Our team had a great chance after that, but neither Ochkhekidze nor Alavidze could score three-pointers, and 17 seconds before the final siren, the score was 62:60.

The fact that Bulgarians had only 1 team foul helped them a lot. Although they were fined three times in a row, this prevented Georgians from attacking and golden seconds passed. When Bulgarians went into the bonus penalty area, 4.6 seconds before the final siren, Georgians launched a new attack. Left alone on the perimeter, Sandro Kasaburi, missed a potentially winning 3-pointer and the final outcome was obvious. The Bulgarian scored 2 free throws and the final score was 64:60. (statistics).

Giorgi Sulaberidze with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists was the most vulnerable player in our team. Giorgi Ochkhikidze contributed 21 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Vato Gachechiladze collected 9 points, as for Guga Natsvlishvili, he scored 6 points. August 1st is day off of the tournaments, on august 2nd our team will face Bosnia-Herzogovia, game will start at 19:00