Germany hold off Poland comeback to claim third place
BERLIN (Germany) - Germany claimed the final spot on the podium at FIBA EuroBasket 2022 after they defeated Poland 82-69 with a strong finish in the Third Place Game, on Sunday.
The hosts established a double-digit advantage by half-time before having to fight to complete the victory down the stretch as they went on to collect their bronze medals in front of almost 13,000 fans in Berlin.
Turning Point: It was just a one-point game past the midpoint of the second as Germany went almost five minutes without scoring before putting together a 13-0 run capped by triples from Andreas Obst, Daniel Theis and Dennis Schroder to lead 34-20. Poland clawed back the deficit to tie the game at 59-59 in the fourth, but Johannes Voigtmann sparked a decisive 11-3 burst with back-to-back threes.
TCL Player of the Game: Voigtmann was doing a little bit of everything in the first half for Germany before stepping up at a crucial time in the fourth in scoring with big shots from outside - finishing with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in an all-round display.
Schroder hit two big threes in the fourth also to contribute a game-high 26 points along with 6 assists in the win, while Michal Sokolowski top scored for Poland with 18 points.
Stats Don't Lie: Poland had nine turnovers in the first half, whilst shooting 0-of-10 from three-point range as they were held to just 23 points. They would still reach double figures in threes made to fuel their fightback, but their early shooting woes proved costly.
Bottom Line: It's the first medal for Germany at EuroBasket since 2005 when they were runners-up to Greece. A deserved finish for the hosts in the latest of a number of impressive performances in this year's competition. Poland, however, ran out of steam in their final two games as they were unable to back up their historic win over Slovenia in the Quarter-Finals and end a 55-year wait for a top-three finish in the tournament that they will be co-hosting in 2025.
"Amazing it's an unbelievable feeling to get a medal in front of our fans. I am really happy. It wasn’t the prettiest game but I’m super happy that we got away with the win." - Johannes Thiemann, Germany
"It's great to win a medal. We were all a little disappointed after the Spain game. We wanted to reach the Final and win gold. But our goal before the tournament was a medal. And we achieved that." - Daniel Theis, Germany
"It's really tough. We were so close to this bronze. First half, our defense was really good but we could not find the flow in our offense. Second half, we came back into the game, we got close. Then they found some open shots and made them, so we have to congratulate them." - Michal Sokolowski, Poland
"We made some mistakes in the first half. We didn't find the right passes to allow us to execute. We came back with some good ball sharing, but then Voigtmann was left open and made some clutch shots in the fourth quarter. I have to congratulate my players big time - they are heroes for me. What they presented this whole tournament was amazing. We had some chances, it sometimes happens like this." - Poland coach Igor Milicic