Jeff Taylor PA Sport
Miodrag Veskovic talked a good game before the European Championships but his Serbia & Montengero players certainly didn't play one on opening night - at least in the crucial third quarter - as Poland stormed to a 70-60 win in Group A.
The Poles went on a 6-0 run in that period when Serbia & Montenegro missed many of the three-point attempts they took on the night.
They ended up making just two of 16 from long range in the game.
Poland had a rocky start and looked in trouble when star centre Margot Dydek picked up 3 fouls in the first 5 minutes and was forced to the bench. Ironically, this was the motivation that the Polish seemed to need and they rallied to take a first quarter lead (20-16) which they would not relinquish.
Polish guard Agnieszka Bibrzycka, who had a game-high 21 points, made three of four threes and was a perfect six of six from the free throw line. Dydek added 16 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks, including some key baskets down the stretch which helped to maintain Poland's double digit lead.
|Poland's Agnieszka Bibrzycka heads into traffic under the basket|
Poland led 33-29 at half-time and after three had Serbia & Montenegro trailing 53-46.
Veskovic's crew won the rebounding battle 43-32 but that wasn't enough to lift the side who, according to the coach, has an excellent chance to capture the crown.