|30 June 2011|
U20 MEN DIVISION B
It's understandable why Slobodan Petrovski was a little hot under the collar during and after his F.Y.R. of Macedonia team's friendly defeat at Bulgaria this week.
Both sides are getting ready for the U20 European Championship Division B in Sarajevo from July 14-24 and while Bulgaria are good, they're shouldn't have been able to rout Petrovski's side 101-70.
Twenty-four hours is a long time in basketball, though, and the guests made amends with a 78-77 win against the same Bulgarian team in their second meeting.
After taking a double-digit lead at half-time of the second encounter, the visitors allowed Bulgaria to storm back with a dominating display in the third quarter.
But led by Apostoli Apostolov and Dzaner Osman, who each scored 18 points, Petrovski's charges triumphed in a thriller.
"No one was satisfied with the first game," Petrovski said.
"Everyone was too relaxed and didn't get close to the quality performance they needed.
"But we played immediately the next day and managed to correct the impression.
"I can tell by the quality that we are close to Bulgaria and although our group at the European Championship has quality teams like Georgia and Poland, we have the potential for a good result."
Petrovski has yet to finalize his roster but does have a pretty good idea of the squad he'll take to Sarajevo.
"I have a vision of what players we need to fill the final 12, but will wait until the final day of preparations," he said.
"There's good competition with 14 players in training and games."
In their last preparations for Sarajevo, F.Y.R. of Macedonia will host Serbia on July 7-8.