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September 2022
41 Aleksandar Vezenkov (BUL), 1 Dee Bost (BUL)
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Team Profile: Bulgaria's 11-year absence from EuroBasket is over


SOFIA (Bulgaria) - Bulgaria has been in the bleachers for a whole decade but is now ready to make a return to the big stage of European basketball. The last time the Balkan nation competed at FIBA EuroBasket was back in 2011 and not many of the current Bulgarian squad remember it. Of course, one thing is the same – head coach Rosen Barchovski is back at the helm.

But besides that, almost a whole new generation of Bulgarian basketball players has emerged. A generation, which could easily be labeled as a golden one. A generation of Bulgaria’s favorite sons – born between 1993-95. Going up from the U16, U18 and U20 age groups, it was about time that these boys took the next step and level up to EuroBasket.

Chavdar Kostov is the only player on today's team with EuroBasket experience, having played in 2009 and 2011

Being down to the last pot in all draws in the past few years, Bulgaria’s chances were slim to none. Qualifiers for EuroBasket 2013, 2015 and 2017 are something most fans have been trying to forget or haven’t even thought about. And then it all turned around for good, and finally Bulgaria grabbed their chance.

Going to Latvia for the last qualifying game, with no Aleksandar Vezenkov on the team, again the odds were against the Bulgarians. But it was one game, one chance, and nothing to lose. And they lost nothing and won it all. In this one game, Bulgaria outwitted the Latvians and  finished strong to punch their ticket to FIBA EuroBasket 2022.

Leaving aside the golden boys, the American-born Dee Bost has been wearing the Bulgarian jersey ever since 2016. After six years  - and counting - this will be the point guard's last summer with the national team, and he will certainly be missed. At the back of the minds of all Bulgarian basketball leaders is hanging the big question – who will replace Bost? But until then, he will have a memorable summer, no doubt.

Speaking of favorite sons, the Bulgarian basketball community lives and breathes with Vezenkov nowadays and his success with Olympiacos feels like the whole nation’s success. Sasha, as he is affectionately known, is just a different breed of person, not just a basketball player. Quiet and humble, he leads by example. The only way Vezenkov knows to do things, through hard work. And it's paid off. Greek League champion, Greek Cup winner, MVP, All-Euroleague First Team - all in the same season. Now he is going to lead Bulgaria, as usual, but this time at EuroBasket.

Two experienced players Bulgaria will count on are Chavdar Kostov and Stanimir Marinov. Both struggled with injuries during the past few seasons and the nation is just keeping their fingers crossed they stay healthy. Kostov and Marinov are staples in the rotation of Barchovski and will be alongside Bost in the tough challenges ahead.

The scoring ability of Pavlin Ivanov is undisputed as he is a prolific shooter and, at this point in his career, a player with more than enough experience overseas. Ivanov is one of the names that should be on everyone's lips in Tbilisi and the same goes for Yordan Minchev, the super-athletic forward who is part of the younger wave of players on the roster. Minchev has also suffered a bad string of injuries, but he is a beast when healthy.

Bulgaria will bring two bright youngsters to EuroBasket – Emil Stoilov and Kosntantin Kostadinov, who grew up in the ranks of Spanish Estudiantes and Real Madrid and are now looking to make their mark in the senior team. Both Stoilov and Kostadinov are names to be heard in the next decade of Bulgarian basketball.


2021 Olympics    Tokyo (JPN) Did not qualify
2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Beijing (CHN) Did not qualify
2017 FIBA EuroBasket  Istanbul (TUR) Did not qualify
2016 Olympics   Rio de Janeiro (BRA)  Did not qualify
2015 FIBA EuroBasket  Lille (FRA) Did not qualify
2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup    Madrid (ESP) Did not qualify
2013 FIBA EuroBasket  Ljubljana (SLO) Did not qualify
2012 Olympics   London (GBR) Did not qualify
2011 FIBA EuroBasket  Kaunas (LTU) 13th
2010 FIBA Basketball World Cup   Istanbul (TUR) Did not qualify



21/02/2020  Greece v Bulgaria 73-63
24/02/2020 Bulgaria v Latvia   110-104
27/11/2020 Bosnia and Herzegovina v Bulgaria 88-49
29/11/2020  Bulgaria v Greece    78-84
20/02/2021   Latvia v Bulgaria 65-66
22/02/2021  Bulgaria v Bosnia and Herzegovina 61-80