|If Bulgaria learned anything on Monday is that you cannot allow Gregor Hrovat to roam free - the Slovenia guard scored 11 points in seven minutes to turn the game on its head|
By Jared Grellet
An inability to close out games has once more hurt Bulgaria at the Samsung European U18 Championship with Slovenia coming back to win their Second Round clash, 84-81.
In a similar scenario to their first three games in Liepaja, Bulgaria were able to build a solid lead, only to allow their opponents back into the game at the death.
The Bulgarians held a nine-point lead early in the deciding frame but were guilty of giving Gregor Hrovat too much space to play in the final quarter, with the Slovenian point guard ammassing 11 points in seven minutes to put his team within a point.
It was then left to Aleksej Nikolic to land the killer blow, sinking two late threes to have Slovenia in front going into the final minute.
Kris Minkov had a chance to send the game into overtime with the last act of the game, but his three was off the mark, allowing Slovenia to hold on for the win.
Hrovat was one of five players on the Slovenian roster to make double figures, finishing with 27 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field.
Matic Rebec dropped 19 and Nikolic picked up 15 whilst Jore Kopac and Tomaz Bolcina both added 10.
Aleksandar Vezenkov provided the bulk of Bulgaria's points with 31.
Bulgaria take on Russia on Tuesday whilst Slovenia face Turkey.