Georgian U-20 team opened European Championship with the defeat of Netherlands
Georgian U-20 team has started European championship impressively. The team trained by Milos Gligorijevic competes in B division and as well as all other 21 team, aims to get in the 3 best teams to gain the right to play in A division next season. Georgia’s first rival wasNetherlands, which was considered to be favorite, however, Georgians defeated them without giving any chances – 85:73.
The victory of the Georgian national team is more valuable after very bad moments in the middle of the match. Our team managed to find the right forces and beat the opponent again after Netherlands reduced 17 points. It has been many times that despite our solid leadership we ultimately lost. On the contrary we remember, but this meeting was a good example of the fact that the fight, the thoughtful game and the task of the coach can lead to the right direction.
Georgian team started the match very strongly gaining 15 points lead after the very first quarter – 31:16. Netherlands, however, managed to stop our team, but couldn’t go farther. The game continued equally and on the 16th minute, 4 minutes before the big break, Georgians advanced by 17 points – 43:26 thanks to Luka Maziashvili’s fast break. After that, the situation changed dramatically, Netherlands won the episode 14:0 and reduced the difference to 3 points – 40:43. The first half ended with Ivane Megeneishvili’s ½ effective free throw and Georgians had 4-points lead for the big break.
Third period started with Netherlands’ accurate break and there were just 2 points left from our leadership. That’s were Georgians managed to mobilize and thanks to good defense and effective fast breaks, they returned their leadership. Georgians won the third period 20:9 and went to the final break with 15-points advantage – 64:49.
Netherlands still had a theoretical chance to success, but Georgians didn’t give it to them. All players did their best, which resulted in victory. They celebrated it very emotionally.
Each and every player contributed in victory. However, the most effective ones were following: Tsotne Tsartsidze, Luka Maziashvili, Zura Zhghenti and Rati Andronikashvili. Tsartsidze was not in starting five but played 34:29 minutes and was the most effective: 12 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Maziashvili played 29:41 minutes and collected 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Zura Zhghenti scored 14 points and 7 rebounds. Andronikashvili (top scorer) had 26 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Rati would have the highest efficiency, but he lost the ball 12 times, which reduced the final point a lot. (See the statistics below).