Poland Shoot Down Serbia
Piotr Niedzwiedzki scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half to lead hosts Poland to a strong 70-61 victory over Serbia in Qualifying Round Group E of the U18 European Championship Men.
Mateusz Ponitka had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Tomasz Gielo added 12 points as Poland improved to 3-1 in the group.
Serbia, who shot just 34 percent for the game and dropped to 2-2 in the group, were led by 13 points from Vasilje Micic and 11 each by Nemanja Dangubic and Nemanja Bezbradica.
The power forward Niedzwiedzki started red hot from the outside, hitting three of four three-pointers in helping Poland build a 14-7 lead. The gap was still 19-14 after one period.
Serbia went on a 9-0 run to start the second quarter to grab a 23-19 lead only to see Niedzwiedzki score two more baskets - including another trey - in taking a 26-23 advantage. The hosts led 31-29 at the break.
Niedzwiedzki and Gielo combined for nine points in a 15-4 Polish run to start the second half with a 46-33 lead. The advantage grew to 54-40 before Serbia hit the final five points of the quarter.
Poland used their tough defense to hold Serbia scoreless for the first 3:27 and building an 18-point lead, 63-45. The advantage was 67-50 with less than four minutes left and Serbia's late push came too late.