By Simon Wilkinson
Poland will look to cool off hot-shooting Slovenia and revive their bid to reach the last eight of EuroBasket 2009 in Lodz on Monday.
The hosts are 1-2 and currently lie second from bottom in Group F of the Qualifying Round following a 77-72 loss at the hands of Serbia.
|Erazem Lorbek with have his hands full with Poland's big men.|
The Poles conceded 13 unanswered points to fall behind 56-40 in the third quarter before making a strong run and cut the deficit to two in the final frame, but the Serbs held on in the end.
Meanwhile, Slovenia used an early three-point barrage to build a double-digit lead against Lithuania and kept adding to it on their way to an 81-59 win that saw them improve to 2-1 in the group, good enough for second place behind undefeated (3-0) Turkey.
In order to beat Jure Zdovc's side, the Poles will need for David Logan and Maciej Lampe to bounce back after sub-par performances against Serbia. The former had 10 points and six assists but shot just four of 12 from the field while the latter was a non-factor with only one basket.
Slovenia have yet to play a poor game so far in the tournament. Their shooting touch has been their big key and, even when they fail to connect from the perimeter, they find ways to create easy scores closer to the basket.
Head to head: Slovenia have beaten Poland in all three of their meetings to date. Most recently, the Slovenians beat the Poles 70-52 at EuroBasket 2007 in Spain.
Last time out: Slovenia crushed Lithuania 81-59 while Poland's late rally was not enough as they fell 77-72 against Serbia.
Key match-up: Erazem Lorbek v Marcin Gortat and/or Maciej Lampe. Poland play two centres, so it's unclear who Lorbek will be matched up against. If he can get the better of either and/or both of them, Slovenia will be unstoppable.
X-factor: Poland's ‘Big Four'. Gortat, Logan, Lampe and Michal Ignerski combine on average for almost 60 of Poland's 79 points per game. When one or two of them have a bad game - as was the case against Serbia - it deals a severe blow to their chances of winning. Therefore, each one of them will have to be at their absolute best against Slovenia.