In the very important game for host team Polonia-Warbud Warszawa defeated Honka Playboys Espoo 96:79. Thanks to this win Polonia still has a chance to qualify to the FIBA Europe League play-offs. An away win over Aris Thessaloniki next week would be enough to see them through to the next round.
Although Honka have struggled in the FEL this year, they took the game straight to the hosts and led by as much as 14 points in the first half. The opening quarter was marked by an offensive explosion from Honka guard Jyri Lehtonen and he hit for 14 points.
Honka’s defense was also on song and they held Polonia to just 35 first half points.
In the second 20 minutes Polonia turned the game around. 6 of their players found their offensive touch and each contributed 10 points or more. The home team also focused their defensive intentions on Jyri Lehtonen, who scored just 4 points in the last 3 quarters.
Having swung the game their way in the third, Polonia hit for 37 points in the 4th quarter and overwhelmed the visitors, finishing the game with 96 points to Honka’s 76..
Wojciech Kaminski, Head Coach, Polonia Warbud:
"It was difficult game for us. We needed this win to achieve our chances to qualify for the playoffs. My players were not so concentrated at the beginning of this game – because we have a very important game on Saturday in the Polish championship in Wroclaw. My players didn’t play well in defense in the very first minutes. And the second thing is that Honka is not as weak a team as it looks like. They had real chances to win their last game against GHP Bamberg, and lost to the German runner-up just by two points in last seconds."
Mihailo Pavicevic, Head Coach, Honka Playboys:
"Polonia is a very experienced team, and just punished our younger players. We played 27-28 minutes pretty well, we controlled this game. But after that we couldn’t make any fastbreak, and we couldn’t stop the Polonia players in defense. The Problem for us is that Finnish basketball is totally different from other European countries. I come from a basketball country and try to explain my Finnish players those differences. And another thing is that we have only one foreign player."
Arkadiusz Miloszewski, Polonia Warbud:
"The game was different in first and in second half. Honka played very good defense in first two quarters. In the second half we were the team which played better in defense and much more smarter in offense. I’m happy about my role in tonight’s game and happy that we have still chances to play in the FEL playoffs."
Tuomas Iisalo, Honka Playboys:
"We started this game very well, and controlled the score for more than 20 minutes. Then something happened, we had too many turnovers and lost this control.