Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

At the start of the FIBA World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers, Georgia (1-0) edged out Ukraine (0-1) 88-83 (28-24, 17-22, 19-20, 24-17) at their home territory. 

CSKA Moscow player Tornike Shengelia, who played in yesterday's Turkish Airlines EuroLeague game against FC Bayern Munich, was a go-to guy for the winners. The power forward posted 16 points (7/13 2PT, 2/2 FT), 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 23 PIR in 33 minutes.

"The first time I saw the national team play, I was on the court in this gym. My first dream - before it was to go to the NBA - was to play for the national team and play here for my country. This is the motivation I've had since that day and nothing changed since. 100-percent there and it’s not going to change until I can’t play," said Shengelia post-game. 

Yesterday he played 32 minutes versus the German powerhouse and had a flight to Tbilisi.

Thaddus McFadden and Giorgi Shermadini also played a successful contest for Georgia. McFadden scored 27 points, while Shermadini had 23 points. The big trio registered 66 out of 86 team points.

The game went neck to neck, neither team gaining a double-digit advantage. Georgia organized a crucial spurt with less than 3 minutes to go when McFadden, Shermadini, and Shengelia scored a two-pointer each (84-78).

Georgia: Thaddus McFadden 27 (2/3 2PT, 7/12 3PT, 2/5 FT), Giorgi Shermadini 23 (9/13 2PT, FT), Tornike Shengelia 16 (7/13 2PT, 2/2 FT, 13 REB), Beka Burjanadze 11.

Ukraine: Bogdan Bliznyuk 18 (6 AST, 4 REB), Viacheslav Petrov 16 (12 REB, 28 PIR), Jerome Randle 15 (6 AST), Serhii Pavlov 10.

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