Brooklyn Nets Mirza Teletovic and Toko Shengelia Face off In Eurobasket Qualifier

By Stephen Cho

I guess Mirza Teletovic and Toko Shengelia couldn’t wait until practice started to go head to head. Shengelia and Teletovic, two of the four European players on the Brooklyn Nets roster, squared off earlier today in the FIBA Eurobasket 2013 Qualifier.

All Euro-Nets have held their own throughout the tournament and represented Brooklyn well. Teletovic, who is second in PPG in the whole tournament, leads all Nets with 25.7 PPG and 11 RPG. Bojan Bogdanavic is not far behind Teletovic, who has averaged a respectable 16.2 PPG and 1.6 RPG up to this point. Shengelia, although behind Bogdanavic in scoring, easily has better averages, with 15.2 PPG and 11.2 RPG. Although he just barely misses the double digit mark for scoring, Ilkan Karaman has had a solid tournament with 9.2 PPG and 9.6 RPG.

With that being said, it was surprising to see the tables turned early on when Teletovic and Shengelia faced off against each other. Shengelia, playing for his home country of Georgia, ended the first half with nine points and five rebounds as his team entered halftime with a 43-40 lead over Bosnia. Teletovic, playing for Bosnia, was nowhere to be seen early on in the game. Despite being on fire the whole tournament and having a monstrous 37 point performance in his last game, Teletovic ended the half with just four points and no rebounds.

However, like most great scorers, Teletovic came out the second half strong and didn’t let his first half slump carry over to the end. In the third quarter alone, Teltovic had eight points, four rebounds and four assists. Nonetheless, Teletovic’s effort was not enough as Bosnia still trailed by two entering the fourth quarter. Shengelia scored six in the third.

Teletovic not only continued his hot streak in the fourth (scoring 13 in less than 10 minutes) but he also was clutch down the stretch. With 25 seconds left in the game, trailing by one, Teletovic made a key three pointer to give Bosnia a 105-103 lead over Georgia. Shortly after, with nine seconds left, Teletovic was sent to the line, where he sunk both free throws, giving Bosina a 107-103 lead to end the game.

Although Teletovic was the star of the game, Shengelia’s effort cannot be overlooked, as he posted 17 points, six rebounds and three assists.


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