Men's basketball league playoff final – 1st match: BK Armex Děčín – BK Opava, May 26, 2023, Děčín. The players of Opava are rejoicing in the winning match.
Děčín – Opava basketball players won the opening league final on the Děčín field 80:76 and took a 1:0 lead in the three-match series. Captain Jakub Šiřina, who scored a total of 20 points, led coach Petr Czudek's charge in the thrilling finale. Not even 28 points from top scorer Anthony Walton was enough for the North Bohemians to defend their home invincibility in the playoffs, his teammate Ty Nichols added 21 points. The second match will take place on Sunday in Opava.
The league final is being played for the first time since 2002 without 18-time champion and reigning champion Nymburk, who lost 3-4 to Opava in the semi-final. Děčín defeated Pardubice by the same ratio. The North Bohemians have reached the fifth final in their history and are aiming for their first title. They can have a double after winning the domestic cup. Opava is in the decisive stage for the tenth time and is attacking for the fifth victory. The Silesian club last triumphed twenty years ago.
Both teams started offensively and took turns in the lead in a stormy atmosphere. It wasn't until the end of the half that the guests gained the biggest lead of six points up to that time. Thanks to Radovan Kouřil's three-pointer with the horn, they went to the cabins with a 41:35 lead. Kouríl had 11 points at the time, Děčín was led by the American pair of Walton and Nichols. Both had a point more.
The home team improved their defense after the break and, just like in the seventh semi-final with Pardubice, they managed to turn the tide. They won the third quarter 23:13 and went into the final part with a four-point lead. At the beginning of the last ten minutes, they even escaped with a difference of eight points (63:55).
Opava, however, managed to turn the tide even without the fouls of Filip Zbránek and Jakub Mokráná. Thanks to threes by Luďek Jurečka, Jan Švandrlík and Šiřina, they turned the game from 62:68 to 71:68. Děčín evened the pace twice more, but the guests in the end defended Nichols' attacks and, after a series of free throws by captain Šiřina, brought the duel to the first final success. Opava defeated Děčín for the third time out of five mutual matches in the season, but for the first time they succeeded on their field.
Děčín – Opava 76:80 (21:24, 35:41, 58:54)
Most points: Walton 28, Nichols 21, Pomicálek 13 – Širina 20, Kouřil 13, Gniadek 10. Fouls: 25:24. Free throws: 23/16 – 29/23. Triples: 10:9. Rebounds: 37:37.