On Friday night in Den Bosch in the Maaspoort, we saw an excellent performance of a very consistent and balanced Polish NT. The World Championship qualifying game against the Netherlands was won with 105-78, showing a solid defence, great ball movement and fantastic three point shooting(16-31!).
After the game we talked to Mike Taylor, the head coach of the Polish NT. Mike Taylor is a well-known and respected coach as he is coaching on a high level for years, with experiences in the G-League and German BBL. Since January 2014, he is leading the Polish National Team, and already brought them to the European Championship last year. Now he and his team are all focused to do something big, which would be going to the World Championship.
Congrats on the Win, Coach! Can you analyse the game for us?
Thank you ! We were focused for the challenge and respected Netherlands and the road game. I think we defended well and hit some shots early that gave us confidence. It was a balanced effort and a really consistent and solid team performance.
Were you surprised about how the game went and consistency of your team, after only a few practices together this week?
The hard part of the windows is the constantly changing rosters and the short time to prepare. We felt like our five years together can be a strength and I think it helped us to quickly come together. I am proud of our team!
How do you see the Dutch National Team?
I like the Dutch National Team. I think they have some excellent players and are experienced together. They had a few front court injuries that hurt them this window; but our focus on the game was because we respected them so much.
How did you feel playing in Den Bosch – The most winning city in Dutch Basketball?
Den Bosch was excellent. I really enjoyed the hospitality and was impressed with the facilities and people. I like to see teams with winning tradition like this.
What is your main Philosophy with the Polish National Team?
With Poland we have tried to build a balanced team and to create positive chemistry within the team. Previous coaches focused more on star players and we have really emphasized the team. We have focused on building a system and a winning culture and in over five years together we have seen solid development. I really enjoy the relationship with the players and coaches and have loved that aspect of the national team job.
How do you see the chances for you to qualify for the World Cup in China ?
We have fought through a tough first qualifications round with our team and responded with some important wins over the last windows. I love it because it’s a testament to our team’s persistence. We want to define our National Team era with a big accomplishment like qualifying for the World Cup in China. Poland has been to only one World Cup in its basketball history, back in 1967, so we are all in to do something big together.