12 - 20
August 2023
3 Michal Sokolowski (POL)
to read

OPQT's: Thrilling first win for Poland; Musa, Nurkic, Garza fuel Bosnia and Herzegovina

GLIWICE/ TALLINN (Poland / Estonia) - Co-hosts Poland celebrated an exciting success on their first outing in Gliwice, while Bosnia and Herzegovina's big-hitters prevented a shock loss to Portugal.

Here's your wrap of what unfolded on the second day of the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Poland-Estonia.

Balcerowski pushes Poland to thrilling win against fearless Hungary

Poland had to fend off a resilient Hungary as they got rolling at the first attempt with a hard-fought 83-81 victory in Gliwice. Things were going well for Poland with just over three minutes left in the third quarter, as Jaroslaw Zyskowski gave his team a comfortable 13-point lead.

But from then on however, Zoltan Perl stepped up and helped to produce a 14-0 run to put Hungary ahead by 1 going into the last period.  That was the moment in which both Aleksander Balcerowski and Mateusz Ponitka boosted their game, ending with 22 points and a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists respectively to seal a thrilling winning start for the hosts.

Musa, Nurkic and Garza three-punch sinks Portugal

Portugal was about to shock everybody by starting their first game in Gliwice with a 24-17 run in the first quarter, but then the Bosnia and Herzegovina trio composed by Dzanan Musa, Jusuf Nurkic, and Luka Garza, took over to take their team to an 84-75 success.


Musa led the comeback with 21 points and 5 assists, NBA veteran Nurkic dded 17 points and 6 rebounds, while the debuting 24-year-old Garza impressed with a double-double of 15 points and 12 boards. Meanwhile the 19-point Travante Williams and the 22-point Rafa Lisboa tried their best, but it wasn't enough to fuel a miracle Portugal win.

Estonia bounce back to beat North Macedonia in Tallinn

After losing by a single possession against the Czech Republic in their opener, Estonia had the strongest of starts against North Macedonia, closing the first quarter up 25-7 and it gave them the foundation for a confidence-boosting 83-59 win.

From their early work, Jukka Toijala’s team never turned their backs, dragged by Sander Raieste’s double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Kaspar Treier contributed with 14 points. TJ Shorts struggled from beyond the arc and ended with 11 points in what felt like a do-or-die game for North Macedonia.

Madar makes it back-to-back victories for Israel

Israel are the only teams with two wins from two games after they completed an 80-67 success against Czech Republic. Yam Madar and Bar Timor were crucial by combining 49 points, while Roman Sorkin had another imposing showing with 11 points and 6 rebounds.


Things got reversed for the Czech Republic in its second appearance at the event as Vojtech Hruban provided 13 points and Tomas Kyzlink had a rough shooting afternoon. Martin Kriz was the most consistent baller as he added 16 points and 7 rebounds,

Top Performers

Yam Madar felt it was the time to shine again to give Israel a second win with his 27 points and 5 assists helping to attain the highest performance efficiency valuation of the day at 28.

Polish standout Aleksander Balcerowski gave an effective answer to the debate regarding who’s the most interesting among upcoming centers in Europe with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and an efficiency valuation of 24 against Hungary.

Musa showed he means business on his first outing

Dzanan Musa could have rested this summer after exploding at EuroBasket 2022 and having had a long club season, but he is ready to work for Bosnia and Herzegovina after dropping  21 points and 5 assists to beat Portugal.

Zoltan Perl was, as expected,  the man on a mission for the Hungarian national team and straight from the beginning, he demonstrated this with 24 points against Poland.

Sander Raieste brought all his experience to deliver that double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds against North Macedonia, putting some smiles on the faces of Estonian fans in the Tondiraba Ice Hall.

Photo of the Day

Tired enough, Olek? That's what comes following a leading performance from Balcerowski to help Poland in front of its fans in Gliwice.

Highlight of the Day

The usual dunk by Dzanan Musa - and a lot more! The Bosnia and Herzegovina leader wrote out the word supremacy in the comeback against Portugal, and he did it with ease.