Bulgaria won the 2011 European Championship Division B for U18 men. In front of the home crowd in Varna, the young Bulgarians cruised past Denmark in the final game to celebrate an 70:68 win and to finish off the championship with the perfect balance of seven wins and not a single loss. There was another reason for joy in the Bulgarian squad – the team’s shooting guard Pavlin Ivanov was named MVP of the tournament and also found a place in the best five.
The final game was played in front of 1500 spectators in Kongresna Hall of the Palace of Culture and Sports. Bulgaria started with great motivation, and after the first period they held a solid 24:17 lead. Halfway through the game they managed to extend it up to 14 points – 41:27. Things weren’t looking good at all for Denmark after 30 minutes of play, as they were still trailing – 52:40, but in the fourth quarter they showed no sign of giving up. The Danish side fought until the very end and no matter that they were down 7 with 2 minutes left, they managed to decrease the difference to just 2 points with 10 seconds to go. Bulgaria’s lead melted down to just a single point – 68:67 with 3 seconds to go, but Aleks Simeonov sealed the title, making both of his FT attempts. The final score was 70:68 Bulgaria.
Dimitar Dimitrov had a solid performance in the final – 14 points and 10 rebounds. Aleks Simeonov added 12 points and 7 boards, but he scored the most important two points in the end. Tencho Tenchev also had 12 points, while Pavlin Ivanov finished with just 10.
Peter Moeller led Denmark with 15 points. Kevin Larsen added 14 and 14 rebounds, while two other players finished in double digits regarding scoring.
Pavlin Ivanov was named MVP of the tournament. Over the course of the championship, the Benneton Treviso player averaged 18.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 2.0 steals in 27.7 minutes per game. The other players who were named in the Best Five of the European championship were William Magarity and Tobias Borg from Sweden and Rasmus Larsen and Esben Reinholt from Denmark.
Bulgaria and Denmark get promoted to Division A, while Sweden got the bronze medals after a 71:65 win against Montenegro in the game for 3/4 place.
Photo: Maria Mitsova / Gong.bg