Poland Eliminate Greece

07.09.2005

Poland will advance to the quarter-finals of EuroBasket Women following their 49-59 win against Greece on Wednesday in Bursa.

The win is a sweet reward for Poland, who only secured their spot in the tournament thanks to victory in the additional qualifying tournament ahead of Slovakia and Ukraine.

Reaching the quarter-finals would normally be par for the course for a Polish side which won the event in 1999 and finished in 4th place in 2003. However, without 213 cm center Margo Dydek on the floor, the Polish are a different proposition for opponents.

Dydek is currently in the WNBA where her team, the Connecticut Sun, are in the conference finals. The Polish Federation were hoping that early elimination from the play-offs, would free Dydek up for the long trip to Turkey and EuroBasket Women.

However, with Dydek's side tied up until at least 10th September, her presence in Turkey is looking increasingly unlikely.

It was Greece who opened the scoring against Poland with an Aikaterini Deli three-pointer, but it would be their only lead of the entire game.

Poland answered immediately and quickly forged a lead, 3-10 after 4 minutes.

Greece remained in contention for the rest of the game, but could never find the consistency to put a run together. In fact the Greeks looked lethargic the whole game, as typified by the performance of star guard Evanthia Maltsi.

Maltsi has emerged as one of Europe's top perfomers since the Olympic Games, but after a strong first game in which she scored 28 against Germany, she has wilted.

Against Poland Maltsi was unable to summon the type of energy she needs to fuel her up-temp game. Although she scored 15 points, she shot 6/15 from the field and committed 6 turnovers.

Poland clamped the screws on Greece in the fourth quarter, increasing their lead to double figures and giving their opponents no hope of mounting a comeback.

Agnieszka Bibrzycka top scored with 19 points for Poland who will play Lithuania in the quarter-finals on Friday.

The best Greece can hope for is 9th position, a dissapointment for an up-and-coming side who were hoping to show they belong with Europe's top teams in 2005.


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