The basketball team that makes the Bulgarians proud in different international basketball events is the Bulgarian National Basketball Team.
There are two Bulgarian National Basketball Teams: the men’s team and the women’s team. Unlike the other countries, Bulgaria has a women’s team which is unlikely, in a positive way, because basketball is not so popular in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian National Basketball Team achievements of the men’s basketball team will be recalled in the next paragraphs.
The Bulgarian National Men’s Basketball Team
The Bulgarian National Men’s Basketball team is nicknamed as “The Lions”. The men’s team zone is FIBA Europe and the team is 44th overall in the FIBA Ranking. The Bulgarian National Men’s Basketball Team participated four times in the Summer Basketball Olympics. Their first appearance was in the year 1952, where they ranked 7th overall when they defeated France National Basketball team with a final score of 58-44.
Their second appearance was in the year 1956, and they placed 5th overall when they defeated Brazil National Basketball team with the score 64-52. In their third appearance in the year 1960, the team ranked 16th and in their fourth and last appearance in 1964, the team ranked 10th overall.
The Bulgarian National Men’s Basketball team also participated in the FIBA World Championship but only once, and it was in the year 1959 and the team ranked 7th place because Bulgaria and Soviet Union refused to play against Formosa that’s why they got the last two slots in the final rankings.
The last league which is also the most participated league of the Bulgarian National Men’s Basketball team is the EuroBasket, the national men’s team participated twenty four times in the said league. Their debut appearance was in 1935 and they ranked 8th overall after being defeated by the Italian National Team. Their second appearance was twelve years after their debut appearance in 1935, in 1947 they still ranked 8th overall. In the 1951 EuroBasket, the Bulgarian National Men’s team ranked 4th place after losing the game for the bronze medal to, again, the Italian National team.
Their next appearance was in the year 1953 where they placed 9th overall. Again, the national men’s team ranked 4th overall in the 1955 EuroBasket. The Bulgarian National Men’s Basketball team’s appearance in the EuroBasket in the year 1957, which was held also in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian National Men’s Basketball team reached the finals for the first time. In the finals, they were caught face to face with the Soviet Union National Men’s Basketball team. The game was so exciting, unfortunately for the Bulgarians, the Soviet Union National Basketball team won just by three points with a score of 60 against the score of 57.
Although the Bulgarian National Basketball team did not win the gold medal, the silver medal was already a great achievement because it is their first and only medal in the EuroBasket. The team’s last appearance in the EuroBasket was in the year 2005 where they ended up in the 13th place out of the all the 16 teams that joined the league.