We already know that we will win before the last step. We were in the lead with a ratio of 70:68, the Estonians made a mistake in the attack and the bike was in our hands. But there was still something to play with. If we had scored three in the last game, we would have won by five points and drawn Friday’s game.
We had 1.4 seconds and we were able to find a position for sniper Michał Michalak, but he missed. When the ball bounced loudly out of the ring, he made a bitter face, but after a while he and the whole team laughed. Eventually success came – just like that.
Teeth ache. But stopped
Lublin poles had a lot to prove. First – that they can win. Until Monday’s game under Igor Milicic, they played three games and lost all three, and the situation was thick on the team and around it. But the Estonians too – the Polish team lost 71:75 in Tallinn on Friday, as close as they could have had a throw to victory, but the rivals were better.
After all, they fought for oxygen in the qualifying round for the World Cup. Failure would have pushed them to the bottom of the board. Being eliminated at this stage of the tournament is like joining a ranks of runners-up.
The start of the match did not mean the new manager came up with something extra. The teeth grind after the first action. By the time you have to give a forecast of what their shirt will be, the poles were playing without idea, they almost lost the ball and gave a chaotic throw.
Chaos is the first – Loser 12:21 – which summarizes the best of the quarter. First Friday setter Marcel Ponitka did not know what to do with the ball, and Jakub Shenk did not play well to replace him. If we got points, it was after exhausting, random throws. When we lost 5:17, Militic allowed the team’s theoretical leader onto the field. Thanks to Alexander Balzerowski, who started Friday’s game in Tolin (Balzerowski scored seven more points), this time he started from the bench. But upon entering, he gave no inspiration – less than a minute later he made two mistakes and one failure.
The poles (once again) follow a competitor
The Estonians saw the Poles as a team from the top of Europe. When they gave up four points in a row at the last minute, they were furious. Yet they finished their rivals with 12 points in ten minutes!
In the second quarter, Jaroslav Zyskovsky took the burden. Thanks to his skill – he did not miss a single throw of the game, he scored 10 points – the Poles returned to the game and set out to chase Estonia.
Exactly – chase. If we look for a class that is common to all sports during the time of Igor Militic, it will be the competitor’s pursuit. In each of the previous matches with Israel, Germany and Estonia, we were in contact with the competitor, the chance for victory, finally one step behind.
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Friday – of course! – The scene was almost identical. Until the fourth quarter we had only a 23 second presence with the Estonians, but this time at the end the rivals had to chase. And they didn’t get caught.
Although they are stubborn in pursuit. Two of the three – including one crazy, by the scoreboard – were won by Estonia’s leader and under-basket player Mike Kotsar. But in the end the middle man Dominic Oleginisak calmed him down with a big hat.
A rhythm was seen in the attack of the poles, Michał Sokołowski scored seven points in a row, Ponitka was born again, fighting like a lion under the reserve middle Olejniczak ring.
However, he missed until he came down after five errors – more than the total points and rebounds. The top scorers in the qualifying rounds, namely Parsarovsky and Zakub Karpox – on average, despite scoring 25 points in each match – this time Poland won despite scoring five.
However, the Poles won the victory, mainly thanks to their aggressive defense. According to Igor Militic, one reason to be proud of this is that he declared that the Croatian insane defense would be the hallmark of his team. Finally it worked.
What is the situation in Poland?
After four qualifying rounds, the Poles are still bottom of Group D with a 1-3 draw. Three of the four teams will advance to the second round of the fight for promotion to the World Championships in 2023. The Poles have two more games to go – outside of Israel and Germany early in the summer. Even one win may be enough to get third place depending on the remaining results.
However, the promotion to the World Championship is a long way off – because the first results have been included in the second qualifying round, and the poles here are the worst ever.
World Cup Qualifiers, Poland – Estonia 70:68 (12:21, 38:42, 55:56, 70:68)
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