Croatia Into Next Round

17.08.2008

The last game in Group C could have still made a difference to both teams, especially Poland who needed the win to survive, and the outcome was a close and stubborn battle.

When the smoke cleared Croatia won 63-54 to take the second place in Group C behind a 2-1 record, while Poland would settle for a big shocking win over Turkey but not more with a 1-2 balance and last place.

Poland will join Italy, Hungary and Georgia in the 13-16 Classification Group to fight for their Division A spot.

Filip Najev was the top scorer for Croatia with 16 points and seven rebounds, Toni Katic added 15 and Boris Barac followed with 13 and nine boards, most of those in the first half.

Wojciech Leszczynski excelled for Poland with 23 points and seven rebounds, and Mateusz Dziemba added 11.

The first minutes didn't show on what was to come as Croatia took an early 11-0 lead, which later climbed to 15-1.

Poland managed to enter the second with just a 10 point margin, 23-13, but was ready to cut on it early in the second.

Leszczynski scored five in a row to make it just a three point game and the close match remained until half time.

Croatia played with their bigs in the first half when they took only three shots from outside.

Barac and Najev combined 27 points out of Croatia's 35 in the first to hold a six point difference at the half.

Leszczynski once again started well, this time to make it just a one point game, 38-37, but Croatia stayed with the lead.

Marko Ramljak glued five points and Rogic bombed from long range to make it 52-41 at the end of the third.

Katic and Rogic carried Croatia in the last quarter keeping Poland far enough to secure the win and the second spot in the group.


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