The 2021 European Championships’ crossovers between Poland and Austria, and Spain and France were big for the teams involved with the winners going through to the 5/6th play-off game and a chance to claim 5th place and the prize of the final European qualification spot to the World Championships in Dubai next year.
Despite suffering two heart-breaking losses in their group games, Poland were systematic in their victory against Austria, 60-49. Knowing the importance of the next game should they beat Austria, Poland rested some of their more influential players and gave time to those that haven’t played as many minutes so far in the tournament. At half-time, it looked like it could be the routine win Poland wanted, up 32-19, but Austria had a run in the third quarter where they brought it back to four points and showed signs of causing an upset. It meant Poland had to turn to their usual starters at the start of the fourth to try to break the Austrian momentum. Austria stayed in the game though until an 8-0 run from Poland midway through the quarter put an end to the Austrian hopes and Poland secured the win. The scoring was well spread out for Poland with Kamil Karnacki top-scoring with 11 points, and Hubert Hager leading Austria with 18 points.
Poland will now meet France in the 5-6 Place game for the chance to claim the last European spot at the 2022 World Championships next year after France caused an upset by knocking out hosts Spain in a physical and intense game. The game was a tight affair up to half-time with both teams trading baskets as Spain went in 34-32 up. It wasn’t until a 9-0 run by France in the last two minutes of the third gave them the advantage going into the fourth. Spain’s Asier Garcia picked up his fifth foul at the start of the quarter, in only sixteen minutes of playtime, and an 8-2 run then opened up a sizeable lead for France. Although Spain pulled it back to a seven-point deficit, they didn’t have enough to complete any comeback victory, and France closed out the game, 77-60. Christophe Carlier top-scored for France with 28 points, whilst Manuel Lorenzo hit a double-double for Spain with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Day 8 Schedule – Saturday 11 December 2021
15:30 – Switzerland vs Israel
17:45 – Spain vs Austria
20:00 – Poland vs France
(All times are local – CET)
Visit the 2021 European Championships Event Page for Live Stream, Statistics and Results.
Photo Credit: SA Images