All righty, then, time for today’s second of three live blogs, as Turkey prepares to take on Poland. The scenario: Spain and Lithuania have already clinched spots in the next round. To keep their chances alive, Poland must win out in the last two games while Turkey loses both … and that would be one heckuva shocker. Join us to see if it happens below the break, and enjoy the game!
Pregame. News from other areas of EuroBasket. By nipping Finland, 72-70, FYR Macedonia has clinched a spot in the next round. Stunningly, all they need is a win over Bosnia & Herzegovina tomorrow to take first place in Group C along with bringing forward a 2-0 record. Georgia is also in Group F, thanks to their 69-53 win over Ukraine. In fact, all six teams are just about locked into the next group, with these two teams joining Russia and Slovenia; Croatia and Greece each need one more win, but face each other in game five.
First quarter. 9.50: Wow, Poland wins the tip and scores the first bucket; this marks perhaps the last time they won’t regret Marcin Gortat’s absence today.
7.07: Could Turkey be nervous? Omer Asik just racked up his second foul, they’re 0-of-2 shooting and tied 2-2. On the plus side, Enes Kanter just entered the game.
6.45: Now 4-2 to Poland! An upset in the making? (Yes, that was a joke.)
5.35: Wow, Koszarek made Ilyasova look bad under the hoop there; the Turk left his feet and got snuck past easily.
5.07: Turkey tries a new look, with Cenk Akyol and Ender Arslan now in.
4.49: Koszarek is just gonna keep trying to drive the lane; he threw that one away, though.
4.11: Apologies, BiE’s earlier note about advancing teams gets one addendum: Germany needs one more win or Italy one loss for Dirk’s guys to advance, or else Italy gets in with two more wins. Germany gets Serbia tonight, by no means an easy game at all.
3.05: Kanter hits two FTs to narrow the gap to 11-9 … hold the phone, it’s Szewczyk with a baseline jumper to make it 13-9.
2.27: Whoa, another one. 15-9 to Poland and how nervous are Turkey’s fans right now? Their fans are notably quiet up there…
2.17: Turkoglu may have gotten away with the travel in the lane there … instead he knocks down the two and draws the foul. But misses the and-one. 15-11, Poland.
1.41: Hrycaniuk with the nice move from four feet out and gets the foul from the just-in Oguz Savas. Misses the FT, though. 17-11, Poland.
0.50: Foul on Kanter looks like a bit of a makeup call for an equally dubious offensive foul by Hrycaniuk.
0.16: Slowing things down — the way Turkey wants it — gets Emir Preldzic to the line. Makes one of two. Poland up 17-14.
0.00: Poland wins the first quarter by that score.
Second quarter. The key stat is points in the paint: Poland 12, Turkey 4. That simply shouldn’t be happening. Coach Orhun Ene blamed the loss to Lithuania on poor defense and damn, the Turkey D is porous today…
8.58: Ouch, backcourt violation as Dardan Berisha loses the handle.
8.36: Kanter gives Turkey its first lead from underneath, 18-17.
8.14: But the three-pointer from Hrycaniuk takes it back at 20-18…
7.58: Wow, Arslan gets a T … again, is this a sign of panic? Then outboarded and Poland follows with a two. Didn’t Turkey have the lead? They don’t now, down 23-18.
7.29: “POL-SKA! POL-SKA! POL-SKA!”
7.14: Asik and Preldzic return for Turkey.
6.58: Ilyasova knocks down the far-off jumper. 23-20, Poland.
5.59: Everything is so hard for Turkey right now; the opposite is true for Poland, as Berisha hits a nice three. 26-22 to Poland.
5.21: The Turkey fans are suddenly enlivened. Not sure why…
5.03: …but that helps. Turkoglu with the 20-footer and it’s 26-25 to Poland. Maybe they should go back to that weird jumpshot-first strategy they’ve had going in the first quarter of the previous games after all…
4.36: Poland comes out of the TO with Skibniewski hitting the three. Ilyasova answers. 29-28, Poland.
3.37: And Skibniewski again for three! Those are the first two of the game for Poland, which is now just 2-of-8 from long range; yet they still lead by four.
2.50: Turkoglu works Thomas Kelati and finally gets the blocking call after three bumps. Makes 1 of 2 FTs.
2.37: The steal and coast-to-coast by Kerem Tunceri again brings Turkey back to within one, 32-31. As Bill Walton might say, “Turkey doesn’t seem to be playing with any URGENCY.”
1.43: A combined 19 turnovers thus far.
1.33: And another: Asik with the travel! Ouch.
1.15: It’s not like Poland’s hitting a lot of threes, but every one seems like a killer. That’s one by Kelati.
0.42: After a bucket, Turkey does not get back on defense. Leoncyk makes them pay. 37-34 to Poland.
0.03: Inexplicable foul by Tunceri, who stops the driving Koszarek, though Kanter was coming into good position for the block. Wow, Turkey does not seem to be up for this game at all … to use a cliche, perhaps they’re thinking ahead to the next game (against Spain).
0.00: Nice! Hrycaniuk makes the late substitute Izzet Turkyilmaz look bad, basically walking past for a layup at the buzzer. Poland closes the half up, 39-35, and Turkey will surely be scratching heads at halftime.
Halftime. Let’s see, what do the stats say…? Poland is shooting a nice 57% (16-of-28), including 6-of-12 on threes, against Turkey’s 42% (11-of-26). Poland has just three FT attempts versus Turkey’s 14, while Turkey’s outrebounding, 16-11. Somehow, Polska will have to keep the hot hand … do they wish they could’ve just passed on a halftime break altogether?
Third quarter. Wow, Turkey still looking sloppy. Hrycaniuk was left wide open for the three — in and out.
7.52: But then the steal and Asik throws down the alley-oop. Poland up, 43-40.
7.14: Ah, Onan with the three. That might be the momentum shifter. And Poland calls a very necessary TO. Tied up at 43.
6.55: And Hrycaniuk gets his third personal foul, but Turkey makes nothing of the opportunity…
6.05: Asik with another slam. 45-43 to Turkey for their first lead since the brief while in the second quarter.
5.47: No matter, Berisha with the two and the and-one drawn against Turkoglu. Sinks the FT for a 46-45 Poland lead.
5.17: NICE steal and fast break closed by Onan. 47-46 to Turkey.
4.45: Kanter dances past Adam Lapeta in the lane, gets the and-one, makes the FT. 50-46 to Poland now.
4.16: Now Turkey’s playing a surprisingly fast game again. Turkoglu to the line and makes both. 52-48, but Kelati answers. 52-50.
3.57: Just running the floor back and forth is working for Turkey. Kanter at the line, makes both. Turkey is 16-of-19 from the FT line, against just 2-of-4 for Poland. That’ll be the difference, BiE thinks.
3.13: Kanter with the nice full-court pass to Onan for the lay-in. 56-50 to Turkey.
1.40: Kanter adds another two plus one for a 59-53 Turkey lead; the tide has definitely turned.
0.50: Poland is having serious troubles against Turkey’s big men on defense. A desperate hacking foul by Szewczyk sends Savas to the line and he hits both. 60-53 to Turkey.
0.10: Savas again underneath, 62-55.
0.03: O, and Savas gets T’ed up. This will change things; is a three- or four-point swing imminent?
0.00: At the buzzer, coach Ene is T’ed up, plus Arslan’s foul on the three-point attempt by Szewczyk. Incredible. Guess they get the swing after all. Turkey barely holds the lead, 62-61.
0.00: Not exactly sure what happens now … should Poland get two more FTs, plus the ball? Refs are debating it now…
Fourth quarter. 10.00: Poland does get two more FTs and the ball, but they give up the turnover and Arslan lays it in on the fast break. 64-63 to Turkey but without the weird mini-self-destruction, it wouldn’t be this close…
9.11: Turkoglu coolly hits the 15-footer. This should be where experience wins out…
8.53: Asik’s fourth foul in 14 minutes of court tiime siends Hrycaniuk to the line; he hits both.
8.18: Turkoglu is finally demonstrating some alpha-dog skills, hitting another for a 68-64 Turkey lead.
7.04: Kanter called on the three-second violation … but it comes to naught, with Berisha rushing a bad three attempt.
5.13: Poland just has no answer in the paint, relying on the personal foul. Kanter nails one of two FTs for his 17th point; he’s the leading scorer for Turkey with Berisha having a like 17 for Poland.
4.24: Szewczyk hits a two, celebrates a bit too much with Poland down, 75-71.
3.51: Another technical on Turkey?!?!??! (Or “unsportsmanlike foul.”) Kelati hits one of two.
3.30: And Koszarek ties it with the three…
3.16: …however, the hacks underneath continue for Poland. Ilyasova at the line. His first points of the second half make it 77-75. Meanwhile, France may have bounced Italy, up by five with 20 seconds remaining.
2.20: Ilyasova follows the Asik miss … and Hryanciuk answers again. 79-77, Turkey.
1.42: Turkoglu at the 24-second buzzer makes it 81-77.
1.05: Turkey is killing clock, but then throw it away! Piotr Pamula (really) hits a three on the breakaway for an unbelievable 82-81 lead.
0.31: Tunceri finds Kanter underneath, but guess what. Foul. The young guy demonstrates sangfroid in hitting both, the second after a lane violation.
0.12: Berisha shakes and bakes Tunceri at the top of the key and hits the shot, giving Poland an 84-83 lead. Crazy. He’s also the game-high scorer with 21.
0.00: Wow. The upset! Tunceri misses!
0.00: Final score, 84-83, and again BiE is happy to be proven wrong, in this case vis-a-vis the predicted lack of upsets in this tournament. Poland isn’t quite assured of advancing to the next round, but all they need is a win against Great Britain while Turkey needs a Polish loss plus a win over Spain … awesome stuff. We’ll be back for what BiE thought was the marquee game of the day in Panevezys. Ah, heck, it probably still is, really. But what an upset! EuroBasket rules!