European Hoops: Israel pounds Poland after tanking against Turkey

Israel records impressive 86-72 victory over Poland at the O2 Arena in London.

lior eliyahu 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
lior eliyahu 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Israel recorded an impressive 86-72 victory over Poland at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday, rebounding from Friday's disappointing 85-69 defeat to Turkey. The national team will face host Great Britain on Sunday in its final encounter of the 'Game On At The O2' tournament, and will be hoping for another improvement ahead of the European Championships, which get under way on September 7 in Poland. Yotam Halperin gave Israel a 5-0 start to Saturday's game and the team led 21-13 after 10 minutes. The side maintained its comfortable margin in the second quarter, taking a 41-32 lead into the break, and surged ahead at the start of the third period, opening a 54-34 gap. Israel took a 20-point cushion into the final 10 minutes (65-45) and cruised to the victory in the fourth quarter. "We fought and played far more aggressively than we did on Friday," coach Tzvika Sherf said. "We allowed the Poles to cut the gap slightly in the end of the game and we can not let that happen. Our ultimate goal is the European Championships and we need to continue and prepare for them." Tal Burstein led Israel with 28 points, with Guy Pnini and Halperin adding 12 and 11 points respectively. "We began the game well and our improvement on defense allowed us to run and open up the game," Burstein said. Maccabi Tel Aviv's new center Maciej Lampe led Poland with 22 points. On Friday, Israel led 16-15 after the first period, but allowed 30 points in the second period and trailed 45-33 at the half. The Turks never lost control after that and claimed an easy win. Yaniv Green scored 17 points, with Lior Eliyahu the team's only other player in double-figures, contributing 10 points.