Poland, European Basketball Championship 2022 semi-finals: home preview

The Blues, without really knowing how, reached the semi-finals of the European Basketball Championship. The Poles, without really knowing how, are also in the last four of the competition. That’s how we end with the highly improbable France-Poland poster on Friday night at 5:15pm near Berlin (at W9), with a place for the Grand Final at stake. Come on, preview!

We still find it hard to believe. First Sir Othman, then Simon Fontechio, no really, that’s too much. Twice we thought the Blues were good to go home, the Basketball Gods were helped twice as clearly they wanted to see Rudy Gobert and his friends in the Final Four. In the event of the final success, the title of this version of the French team has already been found: after the Barjots (handball) and Braqueuses (women’s basketball), here is the Miraculés. But before thinking about a second European title, it will be necessary to bypass Poland’s obstacle. We obviously didn’t expect the Poles to have this level of competition, especially after they took 30 pawns against Finland in the first round. But they were the ones who acquitted the defending champions – Slovenia Luka Doncic – on Friday night after a crazy game in which they made a dream come true in the first half (including 9/19 at 3 points), before finding the resources to snatch a win at the end of the match when we thought they were burnt after a quarter Third disaster. A meeting on the image of this absolutely crazy euro, where absolutely everything seems possible.

The big danger for the Blues today is to think that the alignment of the planets they currently benefit from will already guarantee them a place in the Euro final. Basically, having finished third in the group of death, it made sense for Evan Fournier’s squad to cross Turkey, Serbia and Slovenia for a very hardcore sequence. “In a normal world” anyway. There, the EDF will face the world’s 13th country after having miraculously faced off with the Turks and then the Italians, who sent Serbs Nikola Jokic on vacation during the eighth. On paper of course, there is no picture and it is a golden opportunity for Vincent Colette’s forces to play the Grand Final on Sunday night against Spain or Germany. But whatever one may say, the Poles are not there by chance. Poland has already reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup, playing today without complications and carried away by a wave of irrationality. Mateusz Bonica became the third player in European history to finish a triple-double against Slovenia (26 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists). AJ Slaughter, who we know well in France after his spells at Strasbourg, ASVEL, Cholet or Chalon, pulled all the money while Luka Doncic’s team chipped his teeth. French-Polish Aaron Seal is daydreaming with all his friends. So be careful, be really careful.


France: Andrew Albissi, Mustapha Vall, Yvan Fournier, Rudi Joubert, Thomas Hertel, Timothy Loew Caparrot, Theo Malidon, Amat Mbaye, Elie Okubo, Vincent Poirier, Thierry Tarbe, Gershon Yabusel

Poland: Alexander Balcirowski, Aaron Sell, Alexander Dziwa, Jacob Garbach, Lukas Kolinda, Michal Michalak, Dominic Olinczak, Mateusz Ponetka, Jacob Schenk, A.J. Slaughter, Michal Sokolovsky, Jaroslav Ziskovsky

Team trip

  • France – Germany : 63-76
  • France – Lithuania: 77-73
  • France Hungary: 78-74
  • France – Bosnia: 81 – 68
  • France – Slovenia : 82-88
  • France – Turkey: 87-86
  • France – Italy: 93-85
  • Poland – Czech Republic: 99-84
  • Poland – Finland : 59-89
  • Poland – Israel: 85-76
  • Poland – Netherlands: 75-69
  • Poland – Serbia : 69-96
  • Poland – Ukraine: 94-86
  • Poland – Slovenia: 90-87

The Blues will have to play a serious game – finally limiting ball losses – to avoid giving the Poles too much confidence. Because a confident Poland is a very dangerous Poland that can shock the basketball world. Mateusz Bonnetka and his teammates proved it against the European champions, with the French national team doing what it took to show who the coach is.

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