Georgian basketball national team defeated Switzerland 91:84. Our team exceeded the 90-point mark for the fourth time in a row.
At the post-match press conference, head coach Ilias Zouros answered the question – if he feels that the Georgian team is ready for the Eurobasket after 4/4 victories: „The European Championship is in 2022, it’s far before that. Next year, the qualifying round of the World Cup is coming.” The coach also spoke about the main reason for the victory with Switzerland: „The opponent worked very well under the cover, it was difficult to collect points from the three second zone. At such times, a lot of space appears on the perimeter. I am glad that our newcomers were effective in this regard as well and finally we used 12 three-pointers.“
Ilias Zouros concluded with a text of gratitude: „I would like to thank Tornike Shengelia, who arrived after a difficult match with “Real” and fought with all strength. He showed us once again how much he loves Georgia. The same can be said about Giorgi Shermadini and any Georgian basketball player. Thanks to McFadden, thanks to the youngsters. It was a match in which our character had to be revealed and it revealed in a positive side.“
Four wins after four rounds – Georgian basketball national team leads the group without a loss in the qualifying round of Eurobasket 2022. The team trained by Ilias Zouros showed us once again that it is possible to get an interesting team by mixing three top-class players in Europe with Super League players. Just interesting? – Georgian team has become a dangerous force for any opponent and as Tornike Shengelia pointed out after the match, he is honest with all his opponents – After all, win-lose with Georgia are considered for Switzerland, Serbia and Finland and since everyone has lost with our team (we hope it will continue the same way after the last two rounds), they will have to find out the two teams leaving the group between each other.
I Period – The Georgian team ran 7:0 in the first minutes, but as expected, the Swiss blocked the cover as much as possible and did not allow our players to score points from the three-second zone. If Shermadini had received the ball, four Swiss would have entered the penalty area. The same about Shengelia, who was playing with a leg injury and the coach tried to let him rest as much as possible. The Swiss often left the perimeter zones free while guarding Shermadini and Shengelia and it was up to the Georgians whether they would be able to advance with three pointers or not.
We used 5 three-pointers in the first quarter, which is quite a high rate. Korsantia, Bokolishvili, McFadden and Beqauri scored the three pointers, the latter scored two of them. But we could not go ahead with the desired difference – with very long distance three-pointers and scoring from a medium distance, our opponent would follow us well to the end. As a result, we won the quarter 27:24.
II Period – At the beginning of the second period, coach Ilias Zouros let Shermadini and Shengelia rest, for a few seconds he also allowed McFadden to rest. At the end of the half, he returned the fighting roster – McFadden, Bakradze, Phevadze, Shengelia and Shermadini. The high class made its own, the Georgians advanced 44:35 before the big break and a minute earlier the Swiss coach was forced to take a minute break. 46:39 – After the first half.
Interestingly, in the first 20 minutes, nine players had already scored points from our team. Most of all, 8 points were scored by Giorgi Shermadini. McFadden – 7 points, Bekauri and Phevadze – 6-6 each.
III Period – At the beginning of the third period, the Georgian national team managed to advance for the first time with a double-digit difference as a result of Shengelia’s attack.
It was very difficult for the Swiss to stop our leaders and they had five fouls in four minutes. In five minutes, after two free-throws by Givi Bakradze, Georgia advanced 59:47. Coach Ilias Zouros was again given the opportunity to rest Tornike Shengelia. Georgia did not slow down and advanced by 15 points after McFadden’s three-pointer – 65:50. It was already a big announcement to win the fourth game in a row.
IV Period – At the start of the fourth period, the Georgian team stood out with a good game in defense. Bekauri, Phevadze and Bakradze helped McFadden and Shermadini perfectly. 6 minutes before the final siren, the score on the scoreboard allowed the Georgians to calm down – 75:60. But it was for Georgian fans. Players needed the most concentration in the last minutes. Coach returned Shengelia to the court 5 minutes before the final siren.
This was expected as the Swiss reduced the difference to 8 points. It was under the leadership of Shengelia that the Georgian team calmly led the match to victory – 91:84. This is the fourth win of our team in four matches.
At the post-match press conference, the team captain, Tornike Shengelia, made the following comment:
“We play these games for Georgia and the Georgian people. We know how important is every little positive spark to our people during this tough times and thanks god, we won these games for them. I’m proud of my boys, we play as one big family. It is always a huge pleasure and I’m always proud to play for the Georgian national team”.
The next round of the Eurobasket 2022 qualifiers (based on the “bubble” principle) is scheduled for February in Tbilisi, the capital of our country.