How Great Is This?! Mike Taylor’s Polish National Team Downs China, Stands 2-0 In FIBA World Cup (09/02/19)

(Above:Mike with several of his Team Poland players)

There is much reason for the local community to be very proud of the fantastic showing that the Polish National Basketball Team, under the mentorship of our own Mike Taylor, has had thus far in the FIBA World Cup in Beijing, China.

Team Poland followed up on their 80-69 opening win against Group A opponent Venezuela, on Saturday (August 31st), with a hard fought, heart-stopping 79-76 overtime win against tournament host China, earlier today (Monday, September 2nd).

Poland is now 2-0 and on top of Group A, in the first round, with a game against Ivory Coast set for Wednesday. That game is set for 4:00AM Eastern Time and is available on ESPN+. Also with today’s win Poland clinched their place in Round 2.

Mike and other members of Team Poland staff

Prior to today’s game, one of the the ESPN+ broadcast crew said something to the effect that, “There are coaches who can get players ready with the X’s and O’s, and there are coaches who can fire up their team. Mike Taylor is a coach who does both.” At halftime, they highlighted Mike’s instilling an intensity and sense of brotherhood in his players. You could see this displayed throughout the game and the love and brotherhood of the players and coaches displayed after the win.

China jumped out to a 25-15 lead after one period. But with a 24-10 advantage in the second, Poland went into halftime up by four, at 39-35.

China outscored Poland 29-18 in the third to lead 57-54 heading to period four.

With China up 72-71, with six seconds left in regulation, Mateusz Ponitka, the games top scorer with 25 points, stole an inbounds pass and was fouled going toward the hoop. He made one of two free throws, sending the game to overtime.

Then with the game tied at 76-all, with :10.8 on the clock in overtime, Damian Kulig sank a reverse layup, giving Poland a 78-76 lead. China was called with a five seconds violation on the inbounds play and Ponitka hit one of two again, setting the final at 79-76.

A.J. Slaughter had a big game for Poland with 22 points, a pair of rebounds and 4 assists.

Yi Jianlian led China with 24 points.

Mike’s high school football coach, Larry Wiser is ecstatic with his former, and first quarterback of his head coaching career. He said, “My hope is that some NBA team selects him to be a head coach.I am very proud of him. He was a very unique young man to Coach. His enthusiasm for playing the game was unmatched. He always gave it one-hundred and ten percent.”

And it is plain to see that Mike’s enthusiasm has caught on with this fine, fine Polish Team. It is an absolute pleasure to follow Mike’s journey right now and the journey of this group of young men who are representing their country with CLASS!!!! I can’t imagine the pride that must be sweeping Poland at this moment. CONGRATULATIONS, AND KEEP IT GOING MIKE AND TEAM POLAND!!!!