Belgium held off Poland in the second half as they opened their EuroBasket qualifying campaign with a 64-57 win in Group E.
|Marcin Gortat's efforts were not enough for Poland in Sopot|
Lukasz Koszarek got the opening points of the second half for Poland, but neither side broke free as Przemyslaw Zamojski tied it once again at 40-40 with 3:19 left in the third period.
But Belgium then responded by scoring the final nine points of the period, with Maxime De Zeeuw's three-pointer making it 49-40 on the buzzer.
De Zeeuw stretched the lead further with the opening points of the fourth quarter before Koszarek's lay-up ended the run.
Belgium were up 56-47 on Christophe Beghin's jump-shot with 4:33 to go, but Poland launched one last rally to try and get back in front.
Koszarek's free throws started it, and when he hit a three-pointer with 2:13 to go it was a two-point game again, 56-54.
Van Rossom and Beghin stretched Belgium's lead and after Marcin Gortat split his free throws they pulled further clear on a three-point play from De Zeeuw, making it 63-55 with 34 seconds left and effectively sealing the win.
Van Rossom led Belgium with 13 points while De Zeeuw and Wen Mukubu had 11 each and Beghin 10.
Gortat had 23 points for Poland with Koszarek adding 12.
Eddy Casteels, head coach of Belgium:
"My players were fighting tonight like lions; it paid off and led us to victory. This win makes us really happy."
Ales Pipan, head-coach of Poland:
"It was our worst game this summer and it is not easy to explain [how it happened]. Every beginning is difficult, and this game proves that point. But I cannot answer why we lost. We really wanted to win. Maybe after tomorrow's game analysis I will be a bit wiser."
Marcin Gortat, Poland:
"If anyone said that we are favourites in this group, I say that we are not. At least I don't feel [like it]. If you have an opportunity to represent your homeland, you have to leave your heart on the court and show your dedication. Today we didn't do it. It is hard to blame the coach for the fact that players were unable to score. In the next games we have to play with more nerve."
Guy Muya, Belgium:
"We're really happy, because we won an important game on the road. We played well defensively, which allowed us to win our opening game of this Qualification Round. Now we need to focus on our next opponents, because we're aware this was only the beginning."