Poland Qualify, End Hosts’ Dreams

U18 Women

Poland held off Romania, which was supported by a big local crowd, to win 53-51 and advance to the Quarter-Finals of the Global Vision U18 European Championship

Poland was nothing but great in the third quarter, as they transformed a five-point halftime deficit (25-30) into a seven-point lead (49-42).

Monika Skrzecz capped a 9-0 run in the last 2:30 of the third quarter with a huge three-pointer at the buzzer, and the Polish team never looked back.

Romania suffered a big loss when their star, Sonia Ursu, fouled out with 2:16 to go in the same nightmare third quarter for the hosts.

However, Ursu didn't have much impact on the game up to that point, finishing with five points and seven rebounds and committing three turnovers.

The hosts needed a win by a big margin in order to advance, and as the game was closing to an end they tried at least to please the local crowd with a win.

But they only got within two, after a lay-up by Diana Moraru with 19 seconds to go.

Romania had two fouls to give but didn't choose to foul until it was already too late, allowing Poland to take advantage of the time left on the clock.

The Polish inbounded ball side with five seconds to go, and just held it till the end.

The celebration was about to start and the screaming and laughter of the happy Polish girls were an oasis in the silenced "Antonio Alexe Arena" in Oradea.

Karina Szybala finished with 11 points, Skrzecz had 10 while Dominika Miloszewska added five points, 11 rebounds and two steals.

Laura Pal posted 17 points, three rebounds and three steals in her best game of the tournament so far and Oana Baulta contributed with 11 points and five rebounds.

Poland finished fourth in Group E of the Qualifying Round and will play with France in the Quarter-Finals.

Romania will meet the Czech Republic in the first game of the Classification Round for 9th to 12th place.

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