01 - 18
September 2022
9 Jonathan Tabu (BEL)
Game Report
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Berlin bound: Belgium beat Bulgaria in a winner-takes-all game

TBILISI (Georgia) - Belgium have become the third Group A team to qualify for Round of 16 as they beat Bulgaria  89-80 to wrap up their Group Phase adventure in Tbilisi.

Bulgaria were terrific from three-point range for the second game in a row. Spurred by Aleksandar Vezenkov's 26 points and 13 rebounds the team made 13 three-pointers.

However, Retin Obasohan and Emmanuel Lecomte had 25 and 20 points respectively to book a spot in Berlin.

Turning point: Although Belgium lead for the majority of the game, Dee Bost gave them a good scare late in the third quarter by making it 55-54 in favor of Bulgaria.

The Belgian Lions found their groove on offense, though, with a Maxime De Zeeuw three-pointer making the score already 72-63.

TCL Player of the Game: Retin Obasohan impressed with his all-around abilities, accumulating 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.

Stats don't lie: The Lions found their way to the rim time and time again, finishing the game with a 23-for-33 performance from two-point range.

Bottom line: Belgium await which Group of Death opponent it will get in the Round of 16.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria turn their focus to the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers, hoping to make their second straight EuroBasket just as they did in 2009 and 2011.

They said: 

"My message was very clear in the meeting that there is no better situation in life than when you can decide about yourself. We had these 40 minutes to decide about ourselves. " - Belgium coach Dario Gjergja

"Man, what a week for all of us. So many ups and downs. We still have a lot to learn from, even from this game. That's what it's about. Just enjoying the team, and understanding that when we believe and come with the right mindset we can play with anybody." - Emmanuel Lecomte, Belgium

"Congratulations to the Belgium team and to their coach. They played smart defense. They ran a lot and pushed us to turn back in a full sprint all game. They stopped our three-point shot. This is the result. But we are proud of our game in this tournament." - Bulgaria coach Rosen Barchovski

"I'm thankful to Bulgaria for allowing me to play for six, seven years. They welcomed me with open arms. Thank you to everybody in Bulgaria who made it happen. Hopefully in the future you will have more success than we did." - Dee Bost, Bulgaria