U20 MEN DIVISION B
|Grzegorz Grochowski led Poland in assists at last year's U20 European Championship Division B|
Poland made a clear, if indirect, declaration of intentions on Thursday with the announcement of their preliminary roster for the U20 European Championship Men Division B, in July.
Despite their basketball tradition, the central European nation have never competed in the top flight of this age category but with the core of last year's U20 team returning this summer, Poland can only be considered as early favourites to reach the final in the tournament that will be hosted in Romania.
The fact that head coach Mariusz Niedbalski has included in his 26-man strong preliminary team the most promising young players in the country serves as the best proof that Poland aim to finally earn promotion this summer.
The roster is headlined by winger Mateusz Ponitka, center Przemyslaw Karnowski, shooting guard Michal Michalak, forward Tomasz Gielo and point guard Grzegorz Grochowski.
All five talented players were on the U20 team last year, as 19-year-olds at the time, when Poland finished in fifth place and just missed out on a top-four finish that would have seen them gain Division A status for the first time.
Ponitka had led the team in scoring (15.8 ppg) and rebounds (7.9 rpg) while Grochowski finished the tournament with a team-high 6.2 assists.
Later that summer, Ponitka and Karnowski joined the senior national team and clocked valuable minutes as Poland topped their Qualification Round group to punch their ticket to EuroBasket 2013.
The U20 European Championship Division B tournament will be staged in Pitesti from 12 to 21 July.
The Poles were drawn in First Round Group A, together with the Slovak Republic, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Hungary and hosts Romania.
Polish U20 national team preliminary roster:
Jan Grzelinski (WKK Wroclaw), Grzegorz Grochowski (MKS Dąbrowa Gornicza), Sebastian Kowalczyk (Start Gdynia), Jakub Schenk (Rosa Radom), Michal Michalak (Trefl Sopot), Mateusz Ponitka (Asseco Prokom Gdynia), Filip Matczak (Stelmet Zielona Gora), Maciej Kucharek (Start Gdynia), Jakub Karolak (MKS Dabrowa Gornicza), Aleksander Lenczuk (WKK Wrocław), David Brembley (Trefl Sopot), Jakub Koelner (WKK Wrocław), Kacper Radwanski (Polpharma Starogard Gdanski), Filip Malgorzaciak (Astoria Bydgoszcz), Jakub Garbacz (Rosa Radom), Piechowicz Marcin (MKS Dabrowa Gornicza), Jakub Patoka (Jezioro Tarnobrzeg), Lukasz Bonarek (Znicz Pruszkow), Tomasz Gielo (Liberty University), Kacper Borowski (Czarni Slupski /SMS PZKosz Wladyslawowo), Filip Put (GTK Gdynia), Przemyslaw Karnowski (Gonzaga University), Jaroslaw Trojan (WKK Wroclaw), Grzegorz Paszek (MKS Dabrowa Gornicza), Dawid Czerniawski (Davenport University), Damian Cechniak (Legia Warszawa)