Poland is brave, Israel is better. Destruction and chaos are not enough in basketball

Important things in this match happened in the third quarter. Until the break, Israel was leading 31:27, but in the 26th minute quarterback Jakub Schenk led to a draw with free throws and with the score of 39:39 in the middle of the third quarter, it seemed that after the initial tug of war the game could be leveled to the end. But then came the crucial moment of the meeting – as it turned out, Israel scored 10 points in a row and took control over its course. At this point, the Poles were most affected by the experienced Gal Mekel, who scored two three in a row.

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The Poles then lacked both effectiveness from a distance (7/36 in the match, a weak 19%) and experience, because Igor Milicić decided to radically rejuvenate the team. The coach, who made his debut in Israel as a coach, did not appoint the vast majority of basketball players who played a very good world championship two years ago. His new team had some interesting glimpses, but they were losing 39:49 after 30 minutes.

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The Polish team, however, did not give up! It seemed that Israel would keep a relatively safe lead until the end, but Aleksander Balcerowski’s and Michał Kolenda’s trio cut their losses to two points – 45 seconds from the end it was only 61:63. Experienced hosts forced fouls then and got a free shot. They won 69:61.

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On the scale of the entire match, the Poles lacked peace, harmony and effectiveness in the attack. And also the leader – apart from those who were not appointed by Milicić, there was also no Mateusz Ponitka in Israel (playing in the Euroleague, which does not interrupt the season for the national team) and the injured Michał Sokołowski and Michał Michalak. Their presence would not guarantee success, but the game of white and reds would be more multidimensional.

First the advantage, then the trouble

The beginning of the match was great for the Poles. In accordance with the declarations of the coach and basketball players – the Polish team focused on causing chaos in the ranks of the hosts. They forced losses or unprepared throws with aggressive and variable defense – the result was three blocks and two interceptions of Poles and the weak effectiveness of the Israelis. Defensive enthusiasm, in turn, drove the Milicic players in the attack and at the end of the first quarter, the Poles were even leading 21: 6.

Jakub Garbacz and brothers Michał and Łukasz Kolend had good moments at that time, but Izrael was able to shake off and adjust on both sides of the pitch. The hosts themselves began to exert pressure in the defense, and in the attack they found holes in the defense of the Poles – the aggressive one always carries the risk of a mistake. Israel took advantage of these mistakes and quickly began to recover.

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In the second quarter, the Poles scored only six points, and their attack looked weak. Exchanging a few passes far beyond the threes line, desperate attempts to throw or break under the basket at the end of the action. It was completely different on the other side of the field – the Israelis played wisely and calmly. They were throwing the ball, looking for advantages or empty positions. They found them and scored them. They were leading by 31:27 until the break. Only 33 percent were hit at that time. shots from the game, but it was not a problem, because the effectiveness of Poles dropped to a paltry 25 percent.

Kolenda is the best, Garbacz is very ineffective

The white-and-red team started the second half with a good game by the rookie Michał Kolenda, who was active on both sides of the pitch, the games of Marcel Ponitka and the aforementioned Schenk led to a draw. But then experience took over.

The most, 16 points for Poland, was scored by Michał Kolenda, who had a very good 6/10 in the game and four rebounds, he also played well in defense. 11 points and seven rebounds were added by Balcerowski, 10 points were thrown by Garbacz, who had a fatal 2/17 from the game, including 0/12 for three.

For Israel, Mekel, Jake Cohen and Tomer Ginat scored 11 points.

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In group D, apart from Poland and Israel, there are also Germany and Estonia. The Poles will face the first team on Sunday in Lublin. Three of the four teams will advance to the next qualifying phase of the World Cup.

About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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