Basketball – illustration photo.
Děčín – The Czech men's basketball league will recognize a new champion after nineteen years. Děčín and Opava will face each other in the final from Friday. The North Bohemians are attacking after winning the domestic cup for a double and the first title in history. Opava, which knocked out the previous hegemon Nymburk in the semi-finals, can win its fifth title and the first since 2003. The first match will start in Děčín at 18:30. The series is played for three winning games. The name of the champions will be known no earlier than May 30, no later than four days later.
Děčín, the third team after the extension part of the competition, reached the final for the fifth time and for the first time since 2019. So far, it has not been enough for Nymburk every time. Opava will play the series for the title for the tenth time and the third time in a row. “The final with Děčín will be a battle. I think it will be a fair fight between the long-term finalists. Děčín used to challenge Nymburk for a long time, and then it was us again. Now we will give it a fair shot,” Opava coach Petr Czudek told journalists.
The reigning vice-champions from Opava knocked out 18-time champions Nymburk 4:3 in the semi-finals. They won the decisive duel on the opponent's field 81:66. Děčín also reached the finals after a seven-match series in which they beat Pardubice. Coach Tomáš Grepl's men beat Ostrava 4:1 in the quarter-finals, Opava also played in the quarter-finals against Brno (4:2) and the preliminary round against Slavia Prague (2:1).
“When Opava beat Nymburk at home by 30 and they got what they set out for, it was incredible. It will be difficult for them, they will have a packed hall at home, three thousand people. We know that it is difficult to play there,” said the Děčín player on the website of the competition shooter Tomáš Pomikálek. “It will be a huge advantage for us that we have more home games in the series and start in our hall. We lost three times at home during the whole season, including the playoffs, and we perform better at home,” he added.
Both opponents have a record of two wins and two losses in their matches this season. Each time they have succeeded in the home environment and they will rely on the support of the fans even now. “We can say that someone other than Nymburk will win this year and also that the two teams with the biggest fan support have reached the final. That is without a doubt. It will be a very attractive final for the spectators,” said Czudek.
< p>Opava is led by captain and former representative Jakub Šiřina. The 35-year-old point guard is averaging 15.8 points and 4.5 assists in the playoffs. Jakub Mokráň, Radovan Kouřil or Jakub Slavík are also doing well in the wide rotation. Slezans often rely on three-point shooting.
Děčín's main stars are Americans Ty Nichols and Anthony Walton. Twenty-six-year-old Nichols is the second most productive player in the league with an average of 18.8 points, six years older Walton won the award for the most valuable player of this year. Matěj Svoboda is also doing well, scoring an average of 16 points per game.
“And the fact that we can get a double now? You can ask anyone in Děčín about that. Everyone wants it badly. It's just a dream The road will still be difficult, but people will drive us to it, because everyone lives by it,” said Pomikálek.