Beijing, Sep 4 : European powerhouse Poland breezed past Cote d'Ivoire 80-63 in a Group A game at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Wednesday, claiming the first place of the group to enter the last 16.
Poland edged host team China through overtime two days ago, which already guaranteed its round-of-16 spot.
It was the first time in over 50 years for Poland to play the FIBA World Championships or World Cup. Around 100 Poland fans came to the venue, gave the applause to head coach Mike Taylor.
Adam Wzczynski, who had an 86 percent of shooting percentage, got a team-best 16 points for Poland. Damian Kulig and Mateusz Ponitka added 14 and 12 respectively.
The first quarter saw an aggressive Team Cote d'Ivoire as they made all four attempts beyond the arc to lead 24-20. Guard Charles Abouo had eight points in the period, including a pair of three-pointers.
Poland played better defense in the second quarter as the world No 25 team scored seven points from their rivals' turnovers and gradually took the tempo on the court.
Poland extended the lead in the second half. Mateusz Ponitka knocked down a long jumper with six minutes left, awarding Poland a 13-point advantage, which Cote d'Ivoire failed to move any closer. Abouo had a game-high 23 points. (UNI-XINHUA)