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Serbia flex muscles in Hamburg, Ponitka ices second place for Poland
HAMBURG (FIBA EuroBasket 2017) - Entering the final stage of preparations for FIBA EuroBasket 2017, the injury-depleted Serbia side still showed their muscles in a friendly four-team tournament in Hamburg to snatch up the Supercup 2017 title.
Stefan Bircevic and Vladimir Stimac were the surprise top-scorers for the Serbs with 21 and 20 points respectively for the winners, with fellow big men Milan Macvan and Ognjen Kuzmic also doing some heavy lifting, cracking double figures in points.
On the other side of the barricades, Atlanta Hawks star Dennis Schroder ran the show with 16 points on solid 6-of-10 shooting and 6 assists, but was slightly out of control with 6 turnovers.
"We played a good tournament, winning three games in three days in a rhythm that also awaits us at EuroBasket. This means a lot for us, as got better every day," spoke coach Djordjevic after the last challenge against Germany.
Košarkaška reprezentacija Srbije upisala je i drugu pobedu na turniru u Hamburug, posle Poljske savladala i selekciju Rusije - 85:75. pic.twitter.com/XQh0PwpVA9— Košarkaški savez SRB (@KSSrbije) August 19, 2017
"We had little time to recover from yesterday's game against Russia, so we decided to rest some players who needed a break. Players, who played less in the previous days, did well today and it is a positive indicator."
Poland locked in the second spot in the standings after Mateusz Ponitka iced an 81-78 victory against Russia, who lost all three meetings in Hamburg, with a dagger three-pointer at the end of the fourth quarter.
Naturalized point guard A.J. Slaughter had a highly efficient game for coach Mike Taylor's side, going 7-of-9 from the field for a team-high 16 points and dishing out 5 assists to his teammates without turning the ball over.
Adam Waczynski chipped in with 13 points and 6 rebounds, while Aaron Cel also had a solid game with 11 points for the Poles.
"We were optimistic about this tournament. We wanted to show that we can compete with strong opponents for the entire 40 minutes and that's what we managed to do in each of the games here in Hamburg," said shooting guard Przemyslaw Zamojski after going 2-1 in Hamburg.
The starting unit kept Russia close throughout the game, with Alexey Shved filling the boxscore with 20 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds and Timofey Mozgov turning in an 18-point and 8-rebound performance, but there was little contribution off the bench.
Poland will play in Group A of FIBA EuroBasket 2017 in Helsinki, Germany will travel to the Tel Aviv-based Group B, with Russia and Serbia both headed to Group D in Istanbul.