Poland's coach: 'The players have balls the size of watermelons'

2022-09-15 05:48

Poland's head coach Igor Milicic complimented his players for their effort in the match against Slovenia and told that the opponents' constant complaining fueled the Polish even more.

Credit: FIBA

Poland delivered the upset of the tournament yesterday against reigning EuroBasket champion Slovenia. In a rollercoaster match that seemingly featured everything, the underdogs came out on top while Luka Doncic had to leave the tournament with his head down.

After the match, the head coach of the Polish national team, Igor Milicic, was really proud of the job his team did.

"We wanted the Slovenes to be irritated because the more they cry, the more it fuels us," he told. "Respect, hats off to our players for their durability and for how they played. I have nothing in my head right now, there is a great void. What they did is unbelievable."

Player of the Game
Mateusz  Ponitka
Mateusz Ponitka
Points 26
Accuracy 8-17
Rebounds 16
Assists 10

"We always believe. We have 12 players, a training and medical staff. We are like family. We have the inner strength to believe in great things, impossible things. This team has it like no one in Europe," the coach could not contain his excitement. "Everything is back. The players have balls the size of watermelons and hearts the size of a moon. I am very happy with this triumph."

Poland shocked the world in the first half when they captured a 23-point lead near the end of the second quarter and went into halftime leading by 19. Slovenia came back fiercely in the third quarter and even gained a lead in the fourth but it was not enough to capture a win.

"We knew they would come back very aggressively after the first half. This is basketball, we got caught under the pressure of our rivals," Milicic explained.  "When we started to attack the basket normally, it all opened up again. In a difficult moment, the players pulled it off with great character. We played one of the best defensive matches that can be played. We won against the European champions. We reached the best result in Poland since I don't know when. I have no words, I really have no words."

After overcoming the Slovenian barrier, Poland will now face France in the semifinal, a team that seems to have Fortuna on its side, at least in the Round of 16 and in the quarterfinal.

Poland will be underdogs in the matchup again but it doesn't bother Milicic.

"We have our dreams. We will do our best to make the dream last as long as possible. We've already done something unimaginable. It's a shock, but we go further. The captain [Mateusz Ponitka] said it was great but we didn't say the last word. Let's stick to it."

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