EUROBASKET WOMEN 2015
|Weronika Idczak delivered a well-rounded performance with 11 point, five assists and five steals |
Despite facing what looked to be a daunting 15-point first-leg deficit, Poland surged into the Final of the EuroBasket Women 2015 1st Qualification Round after a 65-44 rout of Bulgaria.
Needing a positive start in the wake of their decidedly under-par effort in the previous encounter, head coach Jacek Winnicki will have been delighted with the response of his players right from the tip-off.
Poland imposed themselves on the game immediately, racing into a 28-12 lead and making a positive statement by wiping out the damage caused by their 59-44 loss in the first game.
The foundation for their early dominance was derived from some superb inside play, reflected by 18 points in the paint against just six for Bulgaria, who ultimately didn't recover from their shaky start.
Much of the best work came from center Agnieszka Majewska, who finished with a tidy haul of 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Her defensive presence helped Poland to suffocate the Bulgarian offence in a big way during a one sided first half, managing to hold their opponent to a meagre 16 points.
Already up 19 points when they re-emerged for the second half, Poland were intent on making their advantage count.
And, when they increased their lead to 54-21 in the third period, they already had one foot in the final.
Bulgaria wagged their tail in the final ten minutes, outscoring the hosts 17-7, but it was too little too late, as they allowed a glorious opportunity to slip through their fingers.
Weronika Idczak had 11 points to go with five assist and five steals for Poland, whilst Milena Tomova was the only player in the losing team to break double-digits with ten points.
Poland now wait to see if they will face Greece or Israel in the two-legged Final.