|27 July 2012|
Bulgaria hosted the European Basketball Tour Sofia 2012 and did not put forth very encouraging performances in the tournament which was, eventually, won by Turkey.
The Bulgarians slumped to a 70-65 defeat to Turkey, a 75-69 loss to Poland and an 82-65 setback to Ukraine.
All four sides are preparing for the EuroBasket 2013 Qualification Round, which gets underway on 14 August when Iceland host Serbia in Group A.
|Injured Michal Ignerski was rested for one game|
In the opening game of the friendly tournament in Sofia against the Turks, Brandon Heath poured in 18 points and Chavdar Kostov 14 while captain Filip Videnov weighed in with eight but it wasn't enough for Bulgaria.
Semih Erden, who was eventually voted MVP of the tournament, had 18 points for Turkey and both Sinan Guler and Ilkan Karaman had 12 apiece.
In the defeat to Poland, Marcin Gortat led his country with 18 points.
That defeat was particularly unsettling for Bulgaria coach Rosen Barchovski, who said the players didn't execute the tactics, especially after timeouts and he was "pretty unhappy" about that.
"There was clear miscommunication among the players on the court and it led to two straight threes in the fourth quarter, which decided the game," said Barchovski.
Bulgaria then fell to Ukraine, 82-65.
Barchovski says the national team players need to understand what it takes to be successful and that he had no other option but to be direct in his assessments.
"My job is to criticize the team because I want Bulgaria to play in the European Championship," he said.
Ukraine, meanwhile, started the tournament with an 81-61 drubbing of Poland and they were then edged by Turkey, 80-77.
Erden was again very influential in that Turkish win.
He had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Karaman added 12 points and 10 boards.
Turkey also won against Poland, 70-62, after getting 15 points from Emir Preldzic and 14 from Erden.
Poland played in that game without Michal Ignerski, who had a knee problem.
"We rested Michael Ignerski," Poland coach Ales Pipan said.
"We do not want to risk injury in friendly games and it doesn't make sense to push Michal at this time."