Mateusz Ponitka says the players will tell stories about EuroBasket 2022 to their grandchildren. Even though Poland will host EuroBasket 2025, the forward is not sure if he will be able to help the team.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Although they lost the third-place game against Germany, Poland will remember EuroBasket 2022 for a long time.

Mateusz Ponitka

Mateusz  Ponitka
Position: SF
Age: 29
Height: 197 cm
Weight: 93 kg
Birth place: Ostrow, Poland

The incredible story of beating a team that is led by a global superstar to advance to the semifinal stage after 50+ years has captured the attention of the European basketball world.

Mateusz Ponitka scored just the fourth triple-double in EuroBasket history during that game. Even though the last two games were not nearly as successful for him, the forward was grateful to have experienced the emotions.

"At the moment there is sadness. There was a chance to get the coveted medal," he said. "In two or three days, when the emotions subside, we will understand that it was a great tournament for us. I am proud of my colleagues, my staff and… what can I say - today we are the fourth team in Europe."

More than a million people in Poland watched the quarterfinal match against Slovenia. For a country of 38 million people, it doesn't seem that much. However, this number is more impressive when you take into account that basketball is borderline Top-10 in sports popularity in Poland.

The president of the Polish Basketball Association, Radoslaw Piesiewicz, has promised players significant bonused for advancing past Slovenia., noting that the biggest goal has already been reached, while the rest is just a dessert. Mateusz Ponitka largely agrees.

"We haven't had the worst of the last three years. We were unlucky in qualifying for the World Cup, but three years ago at this time, we celebrated eighth place in the world and now we are fourth in Europe. We have nothing to complain about," Ponitka told. "We have to build on this. I hope that our victories were watched by children who will love basketball, and they will experience how nice it feels to play it."

"Most of us will be telling our children and grandchildren about this tournament. We will remember it for the rest of our lives. I've had better and worse moments but I know I gave it my best," the player said. "Now I have a few days to recover and start training with the club."

Poland will host EuroBasket 2025 together with Latvia, Finland, and Cyprus. However, Ponitka is not certain he will play for the national team at that time.

"We'll see what happens in the meantime. I don't know what will happen," he told. " don't know how many more matches I will play for the national team. I need to sit down with the president and talk."

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