Slovenia is the current European champion. It won the title four years ago in Helsinki, where in the first match of the tournament won with Poland 90:81.

 

Previously, the two teams met five times in matches for points, including three times at Eurobasket: in Spain 2007 (52:70), Poland 2009 (60:76) and Slovenia (2013), where the white-reds won the only victory (71:61).

 

The Slovenian national team is mainly statistically record-breaking in the NBA Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, the biggest star of the tournament in Kaunas. There is also Vlatko Cancar of the Denver Nuggets and six players who have played in the Spanish, French and Romanian leagues, among them a naturalized American centre, the 210 cm Mike Tobey from Valencia.

 

Poles at the inauguration of the tournament in Kaunas won with Angola 83:64, coach Aleksander Sekulic's charges crushed the African team 118:68.

 

Doncic, who in 17 minutes scored 13 points, had six rebounds, nine assists, five steals and two losses when asked about the game against Poland, said: "We have a very difficult meeting ahead of us. We know rivals from previous Eurobasket when we won after the fight. Their most dangerous players are Ponitka and Slaughter. We have to be well prepared".

 

“We are proceeding according to plan. We know Slovenia came here as favourites. Luka Doncic is a fantastic player, but he's not the only one in the lineup. They've got Klemen Prepelic, Edo Muric, Mike Tobey, Zoran Dragic, Jaka Blazic. This is a very good team. We have a big challenge ahead of us, and we'll take it on Thursday,” said Mike Taylor, the coach of the Polish national team.

 

Thursday's meeting between Poland and Slovenia in Žalgirio Arena in Kaunas will start at 3:30 PM.