EuroBasket: Georgia gains tough victory in 3rd qualifier

Georgia gained a tough win in overtime, after the initial time ended in a 79-all draw., 18 Aug 2014 - 12:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s national men’s basketball team ended the third EuroBasket 2015 qualifying match on a high after beating Portugal, however, the underdogs played an extremely tough match and made the Georgian side work hard for the win.

The game should have been an easy win for the Georgian team, however, at times they showed a lack of confidence as Portugal – a comparatively easy opponent – kept the scores level throughout the match.

The nail-biting game ended in a 79-all draw so the game played out into overtime, in which Georgia secured the win with a final score of 91-90.

Georgia’s top scorer was team captain and NBA player Zaza Pachulia, who scored 25 points. He was followed by young athlete Tornike Shengelia, who gained 20 points.

Georgian team had a rough first period, which ended with Portugal ahead by 19 points but the Georgians managed to rebuild their efforts and end the fourth quarter with a draw.

In extra time, the Georgians took the lead and won 91-90 – a one point difference.

The Georgian national team coach Igor Kokoshkov briefly commented after the game and stressed the excellent play of the Portuguese.

"We arrived to Portugal for a victory. The hosts played excellently and we did not expect them to play this well,” he said.

"We had a tough struggle but in the second half we managed to improve the game and eventually came off with a win.”

This was the third of eight qualification games for Georgia in the 2014 EuroBasket. In the previous games Georgia defeated the Czech Republic 73-62 and lost to Hungary 74-73.

Georgia will next visit the Czech Republic and challenge the Czech team once again on August 20.

The team that wins the four-nation pool, out of Portugal, Czech Republic, Georgia and Hungary, is guaranteed a place in next year's European Championship. The six best teams who place second in their pool will also qualify.

Following yesterday’s match, three teams - Georgia, Czech Republic and Hungary – have equal points after each gained two victories and one defeat.