Poland accomplished a feat that will go down in the EuroBasket history book by defeating European champions Slovenia (87-90), under the wings of Mateusz Bonica, the fourth double EuroBasket champion since 1995*.
The Slovenes led 26-29 after 10 minutes, due 9 points from the 2.15m Polish axis, and the Slovenes were pathetic in the second quarter. They seemed lost on the field, out of breath and in thoughts, like Goran Dragic missing two free throws completely and Mike Toby making an air ball, and with Luka Doncic who had pain in his fingers, wrist, ankle and lower back, and always cried near the referees, reinforcing this aspect that no Tolerable for a spoiled child. Only Flato Kancar (14 points) was worthy of the title of European Champion.
On the contrary, the Poles rejoiced at a perfectly elaborate game. In doing so, they led 29-44 by six baskets from three points and didn’t particularly lose a ball. The maximum gap increased to +23, at 31-54, with Mateusz Bonnetka (1.98m, 29 years old) in a eruption (16 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in the first 16 minutes of play!).
Luka Doncic released
While Luka Doncic was limping, the Slovenes woke up when they came back from the locker room. Within five minutes, they’re back to 50-60. The Poles lost control, and made poor choices, such as his inappropriate and failed shot from AJ Slaughter from 8 metres. The long tunnel led Poland to 63-64 at the end of the third quarter, after 24-6 during those 10 minutes.
is over? of course no. The Poles suddenly found their vitality, led by the American A.J. Slaughter and repelled the attacks of the Slovenes. 74-76 at 5’20 from the end. Slovenes who are still not calm and perhaps also weakened by their return. 3 minutes after the end, Bonnetka signed Doncic (14 points on 5/15, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and … 6 stray bullets) his fifth foul. Mateusz Bonnetka who made an amazing hat-trick with 26 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, with the last three, coolly, seemed to decide the match. Polish fans were having a good time chanting “MVP! Best player! For him, the praise is usually reserved for Luka Doncic.”
Over (again)? Although… While they were leading 82-90 40 seconds before the bell, the Poles, who thought they had already pocketed a victory, broke away completely. Will we witness an unexpected reversal of the situation? If the umpires had fired Klemen Prieblich’s shot from midfield to land it, anything could still be possible. But they remained silent. Thus, the Poles achieved a greater achievement than the victory of the Belgians over the Spaniards. Igor Milicic’s team returned to the EuroBasket Top 4 Championship for the first time since 1971.
The Blues will therefore find Aaron Seal’s poles (4 points and 4 rebounds at 17′) in the final, with one password: METRUST!
Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic will miss the European Basketball Championship semi-finals. Who would have predicted this?
*The others are Croatian Stoyan Frankovic, Toni Kucuk and Romanian Andrej Mandaci.
Fund points here.
Photo: Mateusz Bonnetka (FIBA)