Third Quarter Run Keeps Poland Safe

16 August 2013
9. Marcel Ponitka (Poland)
Marcel Ponitka torched Montenegro with 16 points and 9 rebounds to help secure a spot in Division A for Poland

Poland secured their Division A status as they blew by Montenegro in the third quarter of their classification round match-up at the U16 European Championship Men.

Poland finished the decisive third quarter with a 16-2 burst and then scored the first two points of the final period to lead 66-52, a deficit Montenegro could do nothing to overcome.

The victory assures Poland of at least 12th place in the tournament, while Montenegro, runners up in Division B last year, face a four-way battle for the last remaining place in the top tier.

A close battle saw eight ties and four lead changes through the first 25 minutes but when Maciej Bender dunked with 4:17 to go in the third period, it was more than just a flashy play.

It proved to be the opening gambit in the decisive run as Poland turned a 50-48 lead into a huge lead.

Montenegro tried to fight back in the fourth quarter, a 7-0 spurt capped by Daniel Kalezic's three shrinking the deficit to three, but Wiktor Sewiol replied with a three of his own.

Another three, this time from Filip Bakic, made it 69-64 with 4:32 left to play, but again Poland replied in kind as Dominik Rutkowski restored their eight-point edge.

Michal Kolenda's jump shot then put Poland up 74-64 and that would prove too much for Montenegro.

Sewiol led Poland with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Marcel Ponitka had 16 points and nine boards.

Kolenda also scored 16 points while Rutkowski added 10.

Ognjen Carapic had 20 points for Montenegro with Bakic and Milos Popovic adding 12 apiece.


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