By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Following his brother Marcel Ponitka blaming him for not being included in Poland’s selections for the summer international fixtures, Mateusz Ponitka was pretty clear on his side of the story in an interview with Przeglad Sportowy Onet.
“I would like to see some evidence about me giving an ultimatum to anyone or anything like that,” was his initial response to his brother suggesting he blocked his way to the national team.
“For sure, after the interview with TVP, there is no way for me to play on the same team with him,” he explained, “Besides, I believe that building a team needs people with character, not people crying publicly and feeling sorry for themselves.”
Reversing back to the conflict further in the interview, the 28-year-old Polish small forward spilled additional details.
“Marcel and his parents constantly make victims of each other. And I won’t let anyone offend my family,” he said, “I chose my own path in life at the age of 19. Since then, my wife and myself were constantly insulted by my parents and later Marcel joined them. I talked to him and warned him that our family would do anything to isolate me because I did not like them.”
“Unfortunately, Marcel chose a different path,” he added, “And yet whenever he needed my help, including financially, I never refused him. In return, he insulted me and downplayed my basketball skills. Ask Marcel about the conversation with our coach at Zielona Gora, Saso Filipovski, and him crying. Or let him talk about discrediting me to other players like Lukasz Koszarek.”
“I was silent about all this for too long and never spoke about Marcel,” he went on, “No one knows the truth that needs to be told now.”
Asked whether he would have refused to play for the Poland national team if his brother was called up, he was adamant, “After this situation, yes.”
“There is no way to end the conflict. I can’t imagine playing with him on the same team,” stressed the captain of the Poland senior national team, “If the coach decides Marcel is more useful to the team, I will be more than happy to give him my place in the national team.”
Diving into more personal details, he talked about his parents giving him an ultimatum.
“I had to choose between them or my wife. I chose love and the person who cares for me every day for the last ten years,” he revealed, “That began their revenge on everyone around us. There are two camps in the family, one against me and the other neutral and thus against my parents.”
Poland is set to play in Group D of the 2022 EuroBasket. Facing the Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, and Serbia in Prague will determine whether a spot in the next round will be secured or not.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL