Poland and Italy will meet in the 5th/6th Placing game after defeating the Netherlands and France, respectively, in the 5-8 classification games at the 2019 Men’s European Championship in Wałbrzych, Poland.
Italy bounced back from their heart-breaking loss against Turkey in the quarter-finals to get the first win of the penultimate day of the competition, defeating France. A 14-2 run in the opening quarter gave Italy a base of which to build on in the second as they added to their lead, winning the quarter by four points, 18-14, to go in at half-time up 36-25.
France won the third quarter, 14-10, bringing the game back to a seven-point game to make for an interesting fourth period. The Italians consistently scored throughout the last ten minutes, and although France managed to get within five, they didn’t manage to close the gap any further than that. Trailing by seven with two minutes to go, France couldn’t add to their score, which allowed Italy to close out the game and get the win, 63-51, with eleven of their fourth quarter points coming from the free-throw line.
Italy advance to the 5th/6th placing game, whilst France will play in the 7th/8th placing game.
Top scorers for the game were France’s Alexis Ramonet with 24 points, and Italy’s Giulio Maria Papi with 15 points.
In the second 5-8 classification game, hosts Poland held off a strong Netherlands performance to secure their spot in their bid for fifth spot. In a close opening ten minutes, the Netherlands held the slight advantage by just two points, 14-12, managing to nullify the Polish scorers well. Poland stayed with the Dutch though and took the lead midway through the second quarter, managing to keep their advantage at the half-time break, 35-33.
Poland were the stronger in the third as their scoring power took them out to a seven-point lead going in to the fourth, winning the quarter 23-18. Despite losing the final quarter by one point, they’d done enough to take the victory, 73-67.
Poland go in to the 5th/6th placing game against Italy, whilst the Netherlands play France in the 7th/8th placing game.
Poland’s Mateusz Filipski was the game’s top scorer with a triple-double of 27 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. For Netherlands, Robin Poggenwisch led the scoring with 17 points.
Switzerland finished on a high with a solid performance over Israel, 67-54, finishing 9th, one place higher than they did in 2017, whilst Austria claimed 11th position defeating Russia in an exciting match 62-56.
The 2019 Men’s European Championship acts as the wheelchair basketball zonal qualification tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with the semi-finalist teams claiming the four available spots.