EuroBasket: Poland cruises into semifinals after defeating Slovenia

The Polish national basketball team defeated defending champion Slovenia 90:87 (29:26, 29:13, 6:24, 26:24) in Berlin in the quarterfinals and advanced to the semifinals of the European Championships. This is the first promotion of the red-and-whites to the top four since 1971.

Poland was playing in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1997, when it succumbed to Greece 62:72 in Barcelona. Now in Berlin, it defeated defending champion Slovenia with one of the NBA’s biggest stars, Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks, in a game that had plenty of twists and turns and kept suspense until the final seconds.

The Polish hero of the match was Mateusz Ponitka, captain of the team, who scored a triple-double: 26 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. This is the first time since 2009 that the team defending the title has dropped out of the quarterfinals - back then it was Russia, the 2007 gold medalist from Madrid.

The Poles are now to face France, the Olympic runner-up, in Friday’s semifinal (5:15 pm).