Men's basketball league playoff final – 3rd match: BK Armex Děčín – BK Opava, May 30, 2023, Děčín. The players of Děčín are rejoicing in the winning match.
Děčín – Děčín's basketball players won the third final of the league at home over Opava 89:67 and reduced the series to 1:2 per games. Coach Tomáš Grepl's men refused to crown the opponent and forced a fourth duel, which will be hosted by Silesians on Thursday. Matěj Svoboda contributed 33 points to the victory of North Bohemia, followed by Ty Nichols with 23 points, who missed a double double by one assist. Not even captain Jakub Šiřina's 21 points helped Opava take the last step towards its fifth title in history and the first since 2003.
The battle of units, one of which will replace Nymburk on the throne after 18 consecutive triumphs, will continue. “We are not Nymburk, we are in this position for the first time and you can see that it took a toll on us in the second half. The opponent was clearly better in it. Excellent performances by Svoboda and Nichols…, those two players were enough, for us Šířa (Šiřina) was everything alone. You can't win like this,” said Opava coach Petr Czudek. “You thought that the Warriors would put it down, we would win 3-0 and go home happily? This is a fight between two eternal challengers of Nymburk, who have played in the final and never won. The weight is here. We have to knock ourselves out, regenerate, gather all our strength, to win it at home,” continued the Slezan coach.
Děčín started without the support of Anthony Walton and captain Tomáš Pomikálek, who finished Sunday's second match in Opava with an injury, but have been sidelined for a long time. In less than four minutes, Slezana escaped to a 15:6 lead, and Šiřina contributed ten points. He made two three-pointers and Martin Gniadek added another.
The home team then reduced the score to 22:23, but Radovan Kouřil ended the first quarter with Opava's sixth three-pointer from ten attempts. The visitors regained an eight-point lead, moreover, they were always able to answer the reduction and, just like in the first quarter, they went twice with a difference of nine points. Děčín, however, showed a 7-0 run by halftime thanks exclusively to Svobod and corrected the score to 42:44.
“For how badly we played in the first half, especially with some extra play off energy, we're glad it was only two points. In attack, even though we didn't hit anything at all, we were able to score over 40 points. In the second half, the energy was absolutely fine. In some longer passages of the second half we were the better team, the result speaks for itself. We know it's only one point, but we wanted to return to Opava in the series, that's what we wanted it worked. Tomorrow we will recover, we will go to Opava and we will fight there in the fourth match,” said coach Děčína Grepl.
After the break, Filip Kroutil, Dontae Bruner and Igor Josipovič extended the series and the lead was 48:44 and the first ever since the very beginning, when the North Bohemians were twice in a close lead. The Opavans did not succeed in shooting from a distance and took a seven-point loss. But they could still rely on Šiřina, and Radek Farský improved the team's bad balance from free throws, which reduced the score to 53:54. This time, however, Svoboda responded with a ten-point streak, and Petr Macháč extended the team lead by two more points.
Macháč then, after two unconverted free throws, was elbowed by Gniadek in a duel, who was knocked to the ground by Kroutil, for whom the match ended in disqualification. Macháč iced his face and did not intervene in the game. Grepl did not want to speculate whether he would also lose Kroutil due to the additional punishment. “I have my opinion. We know who was there when our two players were injured in Opava. We'll see what happens. I have no influence on it, so I don't want to comment on it,” said Grepl.
Děčín also coped with further weakening of the narrowed rotation and thanks to Tomáš Jansa's three-pointer in the 32nd minute, they escaped with a difference of 13 points. Siřina reduced the lead to 60:70 with Opava's first three-pointer in the first quarter, but the visitors were unable to convert. The home team even increased the lead twice to 24 points, and Opava only slightly corrected the result.
“Děčín has already managed to close several times and they are playing better. They know that they have nothing to lose and nobody has them second. sometimes rotation, I'm not saying it's harmful, but we rotated ten people and you couldn't tell. When you're in euphoria, you fly around the pitch. And when it got to us, we didn't play collectively, we didn't borrow the ball,” Czudek pointed out . He now hopes that his team will succeed at home. “If we play like we did today, one Warrior can play against us and still beat us. It's not about whether Karel or Pavel will be there. It's about realizing how we want to play, and not for the opponent to force us to do it , what we performed. The first half was okay, the second was not good,” added Czudek.
Děčín – Opava 89:67 (22:26, 42:44, 65:53)
Most points: Matěj Svoboda 33, Nichols 23, Josipovič 8 – Šiřina 21, Kouřil 13, Mokráň 8. Fouls: 25:32. Free throws: 31/22 – 29/14. Triples: 7:7. Rebounds: 46:33. Series status: 1:2.