Poland talk loud in the OMNITEL U18 European Championship with an 81-67 win over Spain in Group E at Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania on a Monday night.
The win carries Poland to a 2-1 record, tied with Latvia in the 2nd spot, while Spain dropped to 1-2 together with Slovenia in the 4th place.
Tomasz Gielo was the top scorer for Poland with 17 points and only two missed shots from the field, Michal Sokolowski added 14 and coralled 11 rebounds, Piotr Niedzwiedzki added 14 himself with 2 blocks while Mateusz Ponitka had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Albert Ventura had a good night for Spain with 17 points and 7 rebounds and Joan Tomas added 16.
Poland dominated the boards and grabbed 52 rebounds compared to 30 by Spain. The difference between the teams was also seen in the assists column where
|Michal Sokolowski chipped in 14 points and added 11 rebounds to fuel the win over Spain|
Poland's great team play ended with 19 assists next to only 7 of their opponent.
"I'm very proud of my players," confessed coach Piotr Bakun of Poland.
"As I said before - we have a very big heart and we fight all the time. Today we had a very good game and beating Spain is a great thing for our team.
"We played very good on defense, and managed to do the things we wanted in most parts of the game."
Four players scored for Poland to start with an 8-2 early difference, a lead Spain chased for a while.
Gielo hit a big shot from the arc and another jumper later in the 2nd quarter to make it a 29-20 Polish lead, but Jaime Fernandez scored 5 in a row to carry his team back and before Poland noticed it was just a 34-33 score.
Sokolowski with a big dunk added 2 more points on the board before the break, but saw Ventura hit a three pointer and then add a lay-up to make it a one point lead for Spain, 39-40 after 23 minutes.
The Polish side had answers ready with three pointers by Niedzwiedzki and Ponitka followed by 3 more points by Niedzwiedzki to register a 48-42 lead.
Ventura answered with 4 in a row, but it wasn't enough to shake the Poles who saw Gielo and Sokolowski join forces for 7 points in a row and make it 63-51 with only 8 minutes to play.
Sokolowski slashed through the defense and finished with a big dunk to push the gap to 15 as Spain didn't find answers and soon after were 20 points behind, 77-57.
Joan Crues scored the last 5 points in the game to make it look nicer for his team, but not to effect the happiness on the Polish bench.
In Day 5 of the championship Spain will face the raging home team of Lithuania while Poland and Latvia will play a key game in the fight for the 2nd spot in the group.