FYROM Beat Poland To Advance To Final

22.07.2006

FYROM earned a trip to the final of the Ostchem European Championship U20 Men Division B on Saturday with a semi-final victory against Poland.

The win also sees FYROM earn promotion to Division A in 2007.

Poland were preliminary round group winners, but were up against an experienced FYROM team that includes two players attached to clubs in France and Serbia.

18-16 at the end of the first quarter, Polish center Pawel Leonczyk led all scorers with 10 points shooting 5 from 6. The second quarter saw Poland edge ahead a little further and although they led 42-36, FYROM big man Predrag Samardziki who plays for FMP Zeliznik, started to make an impression finishing with 7 points and 7 rebounds, whilst Leonczyk finished on 18 points on 9 from 10 shooting and adding 6 rebounds in only 16 minutes.

The third period finished in the same vein with little to choose between the teams and a slender lead to Poland.

Samardziki continued to dominate at both ends with a total of 16 points and 12 rebounds, whilst holding Leonczyk scoreless in the same period. However Chylinski took up the slack finishing with 19 points at the end of the third.

The fourth quarter saw the steadily improving FYROM team nudge ahead 62-66 with less than 6 minutes remaining.

Poland went scoreless for almost 2 minutes before  No. 8 Chylinski was fouled on a basket and scored the bonus.

He then converted on the next possession to close the gap to 67-69. 3 pointers from both teams followed to take it to 70-72 with less than 90 seconds to play.

A two from the Poles tied it again but a three pointer from captain Sokolov put FYROM ahead again 72-75 with 33 seconds remaining.

After a succession of fouls from Poland, Sokolov again took responsibility running down the clock and making a two to give the lead to FYROM. Despite 26 points from Chylinski and team shooting of almost 50% from the field, Poland could not get back and a 72-77 win for FYROM takes them into Division A for next season.


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