Hungary Down But Not Out

09.06.2009

European basketball tournaments often throw up big surprises so don't for a minute think that 0-2 Hungary are dead in the water when it comes to having a chance of advancing to the Qualifying Round from Group B.

Even against a Poland side that is sky high after a late 62-60 victory over Greece, hope springs eternal for Hungary and their never-say-die coach Laszlo Ratgeber.

"If we can come and play tomorrow as a team and as hard and tough as we did in the second half, then we have a chance," Ratgeber said after his team's determined effort against Latvia.

They lost 76-59 but nevertheless showed a battling quality that should make Poland wary.

"We need to win by 10 points so we need to press from the start," said Hungary's Anna Vida.

Poland sparked their EuroBasket campaign into life in the most thrilling game so far in Liepaja.

After falling to Latvia 86-52 in their opener and losing star player Agnieszka Bibrzycka to a sprained ankle, Poland trailed for much of the game against Greece and looked to be headed for defeat.

Magdalena Leciejewska ended up hitting a 15-foot jump shot in the waning seconds to stun the Greeks.

Bibrzycka missed the win against Greece and desperately wants to play against Hungary but Poland coach Krzysztof Koziorowicz said: "Biba really wants to help us but tomorrow (Tuesday) she will not play."
 
Last Time Out: Poland edged Hungary 64-61 on August 16, 2005 in the Qualifying Round for the EuroBasket Women in Turkey. In that win, Bibrzycka had 23 points for the Poles.
 
Key Match-up:  Poland point guard Justyna Zurowska v Hungary playmaker Zsofia Fegyverneky

X-Factor: Poland's Ewelina Kobryn has the ability to dominate in the low post, something she did against Greece in the last three minutes when she poured in seven of her team-high 18 points.

Key Stat: Poland out-rebounded Greece 44-21 with Leciejewska and Kobryn each pulling down a game-high 12.
 
Sounding Off: "We have to play defense and we have to play as a team. If we leave our hearts on the floor, then we have a chance to win" Poland's Daria Mieloszynska.

RELATED NEWS

Latvia A Tall Test For Hungary08.06.2009
Ratgeber Leads Hungary Against Greece05.06.2009

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