By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Overcoming the home advantage of the Czech Republic, Poland dropped the lead for merely one minute and ultimately prevailed, 99-84, Friday.
Jumping to 1-0 in Group D of the 2022 EuroBasket, Mateusz Ponitka, a recent addition to Basketball Champions League outfit UnaHotels Reggio Emilia, was the driving force scoring 14 of his 26 points in the first half. Firing up early, he made his first five field-goal attempts but missed the next five and settled for 9/16, apart from dishing out a game-high nine assists.
Louisville-born guard A.J. Slaughter tallied 15 of his 23 points in the second half paving the way for the win in Prague for the team coached by Igor Milicic. “It was a big crowd and a big test for us tonight,” he noted, “We showed our composure and really finished the game in the key moments.”
Fighting back from a 13-point deficit, Ronen Ginzburg’s side led for one minute late in the first half. Reversing back to catchup mode after the break and narrowly falling short of another comeback with the deficit at three points midway through the last quarter shaped the 0-1 start at the top of the round-robin schedule of the six-team group.
“This was not the way we wanted to start EuroBasket. I think we disappointed all the fans that came,” mentioned the Israeli-Czech tactician, “We have another four games. I think our guys can come back.”
After being cleared to play in the EuroBasket, Tomas Satoransky actually suited up for the opener but did not score in 17 minutes. Six assists highlighted his effort. Bouncing back over the next affairs in Prague Arena and an improved effort from the former NBA player seems a necessary pairing.
“We decided to start him in the morning. Also, we did not want to play him for more than 15 or 20 minutes,” Ginzburg commented on the star of his team, “Maybe we missed him in some minutes. We must rest him. He is not 100%. But he did his best to be ready. It was amazing.”
Looking to team up with Satoransky at FC Barcelona in the 2022-23 season at the club level, Jan Vesely logged 17 points against Poland. Oklahoma City Thunder’s Vit Krejci ended up with six points, four assists, and two rebounds in 18 minutes.
“We have to look at this game and what we did wrong. There are still games to play,” summed up experienced power forward Patrik Auda, “We just have to learn from this game.”
Straight back into action, the Group D hosts take on Serbia and Poland meets Finland tomorrow, Saturday.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL