Poland Shock Turkey

16 August 2008

The first big surprise of the championship arrived in Group C when Poland shocked Turkey 60-59 after a big thriller.

Poland now tied their record with Turkey at 1-1 before the last day of the first stage.

After Turkey's easy win over Croatia and Poland's easy loss to Latvia on day one not many predicted the

Enes Kanter (Turkey)
Enes Kanter carried the load for Turkey with 18 points and 17 rebounds.
outcome of this game, but a smart and tough defense combined with easy points on the fast break made the difference.

"If we had won this game I would say we didn't deserve it," admitted the Turkish Head Coach, Mustafa Derin.

"We lost focus after the win against Croatia, and that made us lose a game we didn't expect to drop."

Ernes Kanter led Turkey with 18 points and 17 rebounds but none of his team-mates showed a great contribution along side him.

Kacper Stalicki led Poland with 24 points, five rebounds and three assists.

"Kanter was one of the best players in the U18 games so obviously here he will dominate," said Piotr Bakun, the happier coach.

"In a way 18 points and 17 rebounds are average numbers for him.

"I told my players that Kanter will make his numbers, but we must stop the other Turkish players, and that's what we did."

Turkey didn't see the Polish attack arriving with an 11-2 run at the end of the first quarter, on the way to a surprising 22-11 lead at the end of the first buzzer.

Poland maintained the lead, using double-team defense on Kanter and pressure on the ball, to enter the break up 37-26.

Turkey made their comeback march in the third, in the few minutes Kanter's team-mates stepped up, limiting the eventual winners to six points in the third quarter.

Despite entering the last quarter down by two, Poland started the last period with a 13-3 run.

"We could have won by a bigger margin but my players are still young and don't have a lot of experience," added Bakun.

Up by three with 30 seconds on the clock Kacper Mlynarski went to dunk and seal the deal but Kanter came out of nowhere with a big block to keep Turkey still alive.

Two missed shots from long range to tie the game finished with a foul on Kanter.

"My order was to miss the second shot," shared Coach Derin, but Kanter, despite a true attempt to miss, made both in the closing seconds making it 60-59.

Turkey's pressure made Poland lose control over the last ball but no team got possession over the loose ball.

"We tried to play simple basketball. Play tough defense and score quick points in fast breaks. It worked out for us," concluded Bakun.

Poland will face Croatia tomorrow as Turkey will play Latvia to decide the outcome of the group

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