Poland secured their stay at EuroBasket Women in Turkey on Tuesday night, defeating Ukraine in the additional qualifying tournament to become the 12th and final qualifer for the event.
A total of 10 teams participated in the additional qualifying round, with Poland, Ukraine and Slovak Republic making it through to the tournament which would determine who would play at EuroBasket Women.
|Agnieszka Bibrzycka (Poland)|
Poland were in the driving seat, as they could afford to lose the game and still qualify (thanks to their previous victory over Slovak Republic), while Ukraine needed to win by more than 8 points to keep their EuroBasket hopes alive.
With Poland leading 37-25 at halftime against a young Ukrainian side, a clear Polish victory was on the cards.
But Ukraine fought back to set up an exciting climax.
A 13-2 run down the stretch by Ukraine saw them take a 50-53 lead with just under 2 minutes remaining.
A three-pointer from Beate Krupska-Tyszkiewicz tied the game and set up a bizarre ending. Ukraine had one shot to win in the dying seconds, but a win in regular time would have eliminated them from the competition as it would not by the required points margin.
Luckily for Ukraine, their halfcourt buzzer beater went astry, giving them another chance to secure the necessary 8-point win in overtime.
After a slow start, Poland finally found the extra gear they needed and got the win. Agnieszka Bibrzycka's lay-up gave her side some breathing space at 62-59 an Anna Wielebnowska steal and lay-up sealed the win.
Poland now go into Group A of EuroBasket Women and will open the competition on Friday against Latvia.