Poland Beat Greece, Qualify For World Championship

31 July 2010

5th-8th Place

Poland booked another appearance at a youth World Championship after a 74-55 win over Greece in the 5-8 classification games of the OMNITEL U18 European Championship at Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier this month the U17 team of Poland won a historical silver medal in the FIBA U17 World Championship, and following the win today they qualified to the FIBA U19 European Championship that will be held next year in Riga, Latvia.

The Polish recovered quicker from the quarter-finals loss and dominated the game for 40 minutes, not allowing Greece to have the lead even for a single second.

Mateusz Ponitka missed all his five shots inside the arc but hit 7 in 8 attempts from long distance to finish with 24 points and the only player of Poland in double-digits.

Anastasios Antonakis was the best scorer of Greece with 13 points.

Poland took a small comfortable lead early in the game, but mid-way in the 2nd quarter Ponitka hit twice from the arc to register a 28-19 lead in favor of his team.

After 3 minutes he added another triple, and Karnowski pushed it up to 37-21 with 94 seconds to play in the first half.

Linos Chrysikopoulos scored his first points just then, and Greece cut a bit more on the difference to finish the first half behind by just 12 points, 39-27.

Deep inside the 3rd the margin was stable in the pocket of the Polish side before coach Piotr Bakun subbed no less than 4 players together, and saw his back ups step up, and when Ponitka added yet another big shot from the perimeter Poland held a 60-40 score with 7:30 to play, and even the injury of Przemyslaw Karnowski towards the finish line didn't effect the outcome as the fight for the World Championship ticket was decided way before the final buzzer.


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