Italy's fourth-quarter comeback fell short as they lost their EuroBasket Women qualifying opener 63-59 to an Agnieszka Bibrzycka-inspired Poland in Gdansk on Wednesday.
Italy recovered from a late double-digit deficit to force a tense ending, but they could not do enough to overcome 27 points from Bibrzycka.
Down by 10, 55-45, early in the final stanza of this Group B clash, Italy came to life, and by the time 2:00 came up on the clock, Marte Alexander was sinking a free-throw that made it 60-57 in favour of Poland.
Kathrin Ress made a jumper with 1:11 left to close the gap to one.
Bibrzycka then got the final pair of her nine points from the charity stripe to open the lead back out to three and Poland breathed a sigh of relief as Francesca Modica's three-point effort failed to drop.
With 40 seconds left, Ewelina Kobryn split a pair of free throws to make it 63-59 and the hosts hung on as Modica again came up empty with a jump-shot.
Bibrzycka made eight of 13 (62%) from the field and added nine of 13 (70%) from the free-throw line in an outstanding display.
Simona Ballardini led Italy with 17 points.