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Group:  A | 13.08.2013, 19:15h
Group:  A | 13.08.2013, 19:15h
79-81
20 - 1721 - 1614 - 2724 - 21
20 - 1721 - 1614 - 2724 - 21
Venue: Reykjavik (ISL) |
Spectators: 1850 |
Referees: Eddie Viator (FRA), Moritz Reiter (GER), Robert Hickman (ENG)

GAME REPORT


Bulgaria Punch Ticket To Semi-Finals

4. Deyan Ivanov (Bulgaria)
Deyan Ivanov stood out for Bulgaria with 19 points and 8 rebounds

Bulgaria came back from 12 points down on Tuesday to edge out Iceland 81-79 on the road, clinch top spot in Group A of the EuroBasket 2015 1st Qualification Round and qualify to the semi-finals.

The Balkan side have become the first team to secure their passage to the last four of the competition, while Iceland will travel to Romania on Friday to play out a game that will only decide who takes second place in the group.

Iceland entered the Tuesday clash with intend and took the initiative right from tip-off, riding the hot hand of veteran guard Jon Stefansson who was unstoppable on the night and finished with a game-high 32 points.

The hosts reached the half-time interval leading 41-33 and when consecutive baskets by Jacob Sigurdarson and Stefansson at the start of the third quarter gave them a 12-point lead, Iceland seemed to be well placed to celebrate a crucial victory.

But Bozhidar Avramov reacted swiftly by hitting two triples in quick succession that switched the momentum in Bulgaria's favour, and Kaloyan Ivanov gave the guests a 50-49 lead with an and-one play 3:43 from the end of the third quarter.

The two teams exchanged blows unable to escape each other's tight grip until Bulgaria used a 5-0 run, capped by a Deyan Ivanov lay-up with just 1:05 left to play, to take a vital four-point cushion, 77-73.

Branko Mirkovich split two free throws 5 seconds from time to make it 81-79 for Bulgaria and Stefansson missed the final shot at the buzzer to tie the scored and force overtime.

Deyan Ivanov led Bulgaria with 19 points and eight rebounds, his twin brother Kaloyan collected a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds and Mirkovich finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Iceland vs. Bulgaria

Iceland head coach Peter Ökvist
"It was a really close game. We battled foul trouble through the game with some key players and that hurt us. Overall I think everyone can be proud of the Icelandic team and tonight's performance. We left everything we had on the floor and it was very very close but tonight wasn't our night obviously."

Iceland guard Jón Arnór Stefánsson
"A very good game from us tonight, especially on defence. We came in to win and we gave it all we had and I'm very proud of my team and the support from our home crowd. I felt the referees lost control near the end of the game, we should have gotten to the foul line on the last play and a chance to put the game into overtime, but the referees decided not to call a fould and I'm not happy about that."

Bulgaria head coach Konstantin Papazov
"This was a very tough game for both teams. We knew very well the strengths of the Icelandic team and they played an unbelievable transition offence. I'm very happy that we survived after being down 10 points in the third quarter. This game could have gone both ways so I'm happy to come out on top. Jón Arnór Stefánsson is a great player and he made some crazy shots near the end of the game. We are very happy to survive this group because Iceland is a very good team."

Bulgaira forward Veselin Veselinov
"This was a really tough game. In the first half we had too many turnovers and Iceland shot it very well from the three point line but in the second half our defence was better. We made some mistakes but we will work on those before the next stage."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

44.3%

31/70
FG
M/A

46.0%

29/63

50.0%

19/38
FG2P
M/A

56.1%

23/41

37.5%

12/32
FG3P
M/A

27.3%

6/22

62.5%

5/8
FT
M/A

68.0%

17/25

29

9/20
RT
RO/RD

49

18/31

19

AS

16

16

TO

23

15

ST

12

4

BS

1

23

PF

19

79

Pts

81

PHOTO GALLERY

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