Poland has witnessed a dramatic start to the their EuroBasket 2009 campaign. Not only did they lose to hosts Latvia in the opening game (86-52), they also lost their key player Agnieszka Bibrzycka, due to an ankle injury in the third quarter.
Latvia thrived thanks to the energy given to them by the home crowd, giving them a commanding 42-22 lead after the first half. The difference was the accuracy by the Latvians, scoring 60 percent inside and 31 percent outside the circle and a convincing 88 percent of their free throws, whilst Poland only scored 38 percent inside and a dramatic 14 percent outside the circle. It was definable for a match, which statistically – if we look at attempts and rebounds – was fairly equal. The Latvians, however, showed more energy, determination, accuracy and a better defence, earning them the opening win.
With Bibrzycka out for the other group games against Greece and Hungary, the Polish ladies will face a nearly impossible task to qualify to the next round. To do so, they must finish third in their group via a preferable win against Greece on Monday and a vital win against Hungary on Tuesday. In other groups, favourites Spain and Belarus won as expected, but team to beat Turkey slipped against Russia. More on EuroBasket next week.
See also: Slam Dunk for Poland?