|05 September 2012|
|Marcin Gortat made 11 of 15 field goal attempts en route to a game-high 27 points|
Poland clinched a vital 96-91 victory at previously unbeaten Finland on Wednesday in the EuroBasket Qualification Round.
Marcin Gortat had arguably his finest game in the national team shirt, scoring 27 points and corralling 21 rebounds as the Poles moved closer to a place in next year's Final Round with a 5-2 record.
The game was a thriller.
Przemyslaw Zamojski, averaging 7.7 points per game for the Poles and shooting 47.1% (eight of 17) from long range before the clash, was left open and nailed a go-ahead three-ball for the visitors as they avenged an earlier defeat to the Finns.
After Finnish veteran Hanno Möttölä made two free-throws to put the hosts on top 84-80 with 4:22 to go, Damian Kulig sank a jumper for Poland before Zamojski nailed his key three-pointer for an 85-84 lead.
Gortat followed a lay-up, and then a jump shot, as Poland took an 89-84 advantage with 1:30 remaining.
The Finns closed the gap to 91-88 with 20 seconds to play, but after Poland's Dardan Berisha made one of two free-throws, Gortat grabbed the miss.
Finland fouled Berisha again and this time, he sank both attempts for a 93-88 lead.
Henrik Dettmann's team again reduced the arrears to 94-91 with 10 seconds left after Sam Huff connected from the arc.
Sasu Salin fouled point guard Lukasz Koszarek and the captain made both free-throws for the five-point triumph.
Neither side have punched their ticket for the Final Round, yet.
The Finns will do so if they win one of their remaining two games.