28th August - 6th September

Worcester, England

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Game 26: Spain win overtime thriller!

In their third game of the Championships, Spain took on Poland in an exciting clash on Day 4 that would end in overtime and a difference of only one point.

In the first quarter, Spain struggled to keep up with the continually adapting tactics of Poland. Poland opened the game with the majority of their shots coming from the outside but by the end of the quarter they had drawn the Spanish defence out enough to start driving and gain a small lead of 20-13.

As the half continued Poland cut out the Spanish drives more and Spain were unable to keep up with the same level as outside shooting. Whilst Poland more than doubled their score, Spain gained only 12 leaving the score at 43-25 after Poland's Mateusz Filipski ended the half with the game's first three pointer, quickly followed by a buzzer beating fast break.

However, in the second half, Spain came out with a renewed vengeance: playing an aggressive defence coupled with much more success on the offensive boards. This allowed the Spanish Team to see through the shots they had previously missed in the first half. Indeed, Spain scored almost the same number of points in the quarter as they had for the entire first half - some of which were thanks to Jordi Ruiz Jordan who helped Spain end on a high with two three pointers in a row. However, Poland still held a substantial lead of 58-48 going into the fourth thanks to their impressive shooting consistency.

In the final quarter, the momentum remained with Spain. They continued to excel as they had in the third and became much more efficient with their passing. With two minutes remaining they had dragged Poland back to within one point which lead to a dramatic exchange. Spain lost this gap when Jesús Romero was fouled out, but had regained it - as well as possession - with 28 seconds to go. Unable to get a basket and with 15 seconds left a necessary foul to stop the clock sent Filipski to the line to give Poland a lead by three. With possession again at nine seconds to go Spain called a time out, after a screen for Jordi Ruiz Jordan who hit a three at the top of the arc to level the score 70-70 and send the teams into overtime.

As overtime began it seemed it would be the same drama for all five minutes but it was not long before the energy of the Spanish team both on and off the court saw them extend to a small lead. A reliable asset to this was Alejandro Zarzuela, the game MVP who played a huge role in the key for Spain. Although the team had more of a lead previously, the buzzer went with the score reading 82-81 for an impressive comeback victory for Spain.


Top Scorers


1. A. Zarzuela (37); 2. J. Ruiz Jordan (20); 3. A. Garcia Pereiro (13)*
*double double, points and rebounds


1. M. Filipski (24); 2. M. Balcerowski (15); 3. K. Bandura (15)


MVP, presented by Johnsons Coaches: Alejandro Zarzuela (Spain)