Aleksandar Vezenkov, taken by the Nets in the second round of the NBA Draft, led Bulgaria to its fourth win in four games Wednesday, outscoring Belarus, 84-70 in the FIBA World Cup pre-qualifying tournament in Minsk, the Belarussian capital.
Vezenkov finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. The 6’9” forward, who turned 22 during the tournament, shot 5-of-9, including 2-of-6 from deep. In the four games Bulgaria played, Vezenkov averaged 16.8 points and 10.8 rebounds.
Bulgaria is one of 13 mostly small European countries who competed for eight spots in the Qualifying Tournament in November. Vezenkov says he intends to play.
He is on the third year of a four-year deal with F.C. Barcelona. An elite shooter, Vezenkov was taken with the 57th pick in the NBA Draft. The pick was part of the swap between the Nets and Celtics required under the 2013 Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade.