Why did Slovenia lose to Poland?

Yesterday’s loss of Luka Doncic and Co. against the underdog Poland shook the world of basketball. Everybody, including the Slovenian squad, expected an easy win and a boring game with the reigning champions of Europe marching over their opponents. What happened actually and why did Poland steal the win and qualify for the semifinals?

First of all, the Golden Boy of Slovenia has some health problems. I observe him during the warm-up before the game. He tried to conserve his energy, he look tired and not in his best shape, a bit strange I could say.

Starting the game, he delivered more passes than usual and was not as selfish as he is normally. It was a clear sign that Luka is not on his best day.

Poland entered the game highly motivated like all the underdog teams that are fighting desperately for every ball. They practised a very physical game which reduced the Slovenian options. Man, that defense was amazing. Another important detail: the refs allowed Poland to make that defense which came as a surprise for Slovenia. They are used with favorable refs that will whistle any small contact as a huge foul. But that was not the case, Poland could defend itself strong. This defense combined with the health problem of Luka Doncic was the perfect situation to boost Poland’s efforts.

Another huge advantage of Poland was their size. They were all – except A. J. Slaughter – big and tall, with great bodies that allowed them to do good switches in defense, to rebound etc.

Even if Slovenia dominated the 3rd quarter, succeeding in an impressive comeback, in the end, Poland was stronger. After the great run, Slovenia was a bit tired and Poland took advantage of that and also of Luka’s fouls trouble.

Image credit: FIBA Eurobasket

The article was written by Gratian Cormos, a Romanian journalist, book writer, life coach and mentor currently living in Barcelona, Spain.

 If you are interested in collaborating with his website brainbasketball.net, in order to publish articles, interviews or other features related to basketball, contact Gratian Cormos by Whatsapp or Telegram at this Spanish number: +34 612414486.