Karnowski, Poland Drop EuroBasket 2013 Opener To Georgia
CELJE, Slovenia – Gonzaga University sophomore Przemek Karnowski scored 9 points and grabbed a pair of rebounds Wednesday but the Poland Senior National Team fell to Georgia (formerly the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic) 84-67 in the EuroBasket 2013 opening-round Group C game.
The tournament is a qualifying tournament for the 2014 FIBA World Championships next in Spain.
Karnowski played just seven minutes but went 4-for-4 from the field and 1-for-1 from the free throw line.
Georgia piled on the pressure on an already nervous-looking Polish side in the last five minutes of the second frame, forced them to commit turnover after turnover and went on a 14-2 run that gave them a 39-22 lead at halftime and left the Poles with a mountain to climb.
Viktor Sanikhidze was inspirational against the famed Polish frontcourt on both ends of the floor and paved the way for Georgia's fantastic first half with 11 points on 4-for-5 from the floor.
Poland scored its first 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, after having missed its first 10 attempts. Georgia got 14 points off Polish turnovers in the first half to build its crucial advantage, as Poland gave away possession six times in that second-quarter stretch.
In a typically nervous EuroBasket premiere, both teams started off looking a bit numb. Sanikhidze calmly drilled a triple with 6:06 left in the first quarter, and followed up with a lay-up on the next Georgian possession, his team's first baskets from the floor. While that got Georgia going, nothing seemed enough to force Poland to snap out of its lethargic start.
When Georgia went up 29-20 on a Giorgi Shermadini dunk with 4:37 left in the second, Poland called a time-out, but nothing changed.
Poland only came as close as 15 points in the second half, and never really attempted a comeback.
Poland will play the Czech Republic Thursday. In addition to Poland, Georgia and the Czech Republic, the Group C field includes Spain, Croatia and host Slovenia. The top three teams from each of the three groups advance to the second round and will be placed in two groups of six with the top four from each of the two groups advancing to the championship bracket.
For complete EuroBasket 2013 coverage click here.
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