Georgia’s “Old School”: four Goliaths shadow rivals at Bucharest Challenger

Tbilisi sends its own “Old School” to Bucharest Challenger, to compete with Bogdan Sandu & Co, aka Romania’s “Old School”. Even though they have not played together all the time this season, the four basketball players coming to Bucharest via Istanbul have a fantastic record in the season: they have never failed to reach the semis in any of the tournaments they have signed in for and the team is now on a roll, with three consecutive wins – including the 2017 3×3 finale in Georgia. Richard Matiashvili has no less than nine tournaments played, while Giorgi Barbakadze, the most selective of the four with his scheduling, has competed in five tournaments.

Star player: Richard Matiashvili

Georgia’s best 3×3 player is a true Goliath on the field. From his tally of 207 centimeters, Richard has a significant advantage in recovering balls rejected by the ring or passed through the basket. His figure is quite intimidating, but Matiashvili is slightly too heavy, at 120 kilos, and slow. Even so, he made the roster for Georgia at Eurobasket 2013, just as he did during his junior years. In addition, he can easily send the ball through the ring from behind the 3-pointer line.

In fact, Georgia sends a full squad of giants, counting a lot on tally and force: all four players are over two meters tall. Davit Barbakadze, the team’s veteran at 35 years old, is 2.03 m, Giorgi Barbakadze – 2.02 m, Richard Matiashvili – 2.07 m and Roman Tukvadze – 2.01 m.

For the last three years, Georgia was well represented at the Bucharest Challenger and finished each time inside Top 10. It was always a different team, different names and different players, yet this country made it twice to the eliminatory rounds (quarterfinals), in 2014 and 2015. For Tbilisi Old School, however, this is the first showing at Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Challenger.

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