BERLIN — Ukraine’s run at EuroBasket is over.
A.J. Slaughter scored 24 points, Mateusz Ponitka added 22 and Poland ousted Ukraine from the European championships with a 94-86 victory on Sunday.
Aleksander Balcerowski scored 14 and Michal Sokolowski had 13 for Poland, which finished the game on a 20-10 run and now will face Luka Doncic and defending EuroBasket champion Slovenia in a quarterfinal game on Wednesday.
And with that, the summer schedule for Ukraine’s national team came to a sudden end. The team played and trained in several countries around Europe throughout the summer but couldn’t gather in its own because of the ongoing war that was prompted by Russia’s invasion in February.
Games have been aired throughout Ukraine during EuroBasket, and players said they know their run in the tournament lifted some spirits.
“I hope it inspires and helps them a lot, just to get their thoughts off the war a little bit and just watch us play,” Svi Mykhailiuk said. “Obviously, today was not a great example of us playing, but this whole time, we did our best. I hope they enjoyed it. Obviously, it’s tough for everybody because all the guys’ families are still there and it’s tough having to be here. But I appreciate everyone being here. I appreciate everyone fighting.”
Vyacheslav Bobrov led Ukraine with 15 points. Artem Pustovyi and Issuf Sanon scored 13 apiece, Mykhailiuk had 12 and Ivan Tkachenko finished with 10.
Neither team ever led by more than nine in a game that featured 12 lead changes and 11 ties.
“It was tough, but we did what we did,” Mykhailiuk said. “I think we did more than everybody expected us to do.”