Tomaz Bolcina's display could hardly be more heroic for Slovenia, as he shaked off an injury to lead his team to victory and the Second Round
By Jared Grellet
Slow-starting Slovenia have come back from 12 points down to defeat Poland, 69-63, and move into the Second Round of the Samsung U18 European Championship at the expense of Poland.
With both teams needing to win to advance to the next round, it was Poland who began with more urgency to run out to a 23-12 lead by the end of the opening frame on the back of 11 early points from Kacper Radwanski.
But when Slovenia began to find their range from long-distance and Tomaz Bolcina took control of the game under the hoop, the Poles failed to come up with a reply.
Dzemo Ibisi's troops outscored Poland 28-8 in the second frame to hold a nine-point buffer at the break.
Poland regained their composure at half-time and assured that Slovenia's lead did not continue to grow, fighting back to be within three points with less than a minute remaining.
But they were unable to cap off the comeback, turning the ball over on two crucial plays, which lead to four converted free-throws at the other end of the court for Slovenia.
Bolcina ended the night with 22 points despite coming off an injury which kept him out of Friday's game against Croatia.
Matic Rebec finished with 21 while Gregor Hrovat came up short of a double-double, ending the game with 10 points and nine rebounds.