The women's basketball players will face Israel in the round of 16 at the EC

Basketball players are waiting for the EC fight for the round of 16 with home team Israel

Basketball – illustration photo.

Tel Aviv – On Sunday at the European Championship in Tel Aviv from 17:00 CET, the Czech women's basketball players will fight in the final match in the basic group B with the home team Israel for advancement to the round of 16 on Monday. After a win over Italy (61:58) and a heavy defeat against Belgium (41:84), coach Romana Ptáčková's team have a good chance to take second place and be better placed before the quarter-final battle with one team from Group A, where Spain are , Greece, Latvia and Montenegro.

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Israel lost to Belgium 59:108 and to Italy 68:88. They only have a chance to advance if they win by 12 points if Italy defeats favored Belgium, or in the event of any victory, if Italy succeeds. Belgium and Italy will play from 14:15 CET, so the progress calculations will be clear before the match between the Czech Republic and Israel.

“They have a few individuals. Three excellent players on the perimeter and one strong player under the basket. I think we have what it takes not only to beat them, but also to easily pass them, because I think that our aggressive and pressing defense and quick transition to the counterattack would not be able to sit down. We have to cope mainly with their combined zone and individual. They take over everything big and small, that will probably be the biggest problem for us in the attack,” Martin Bašta, assistant coach of Ptáčková, told journalists.

The Czech team has a clear goal to finish the group with a win and thus secure second place, assuming that Italy does not win. Otherwise, a victory would only be enough for third place. “We looked at the matches they played here. It will be a very specific opponent, but if we want to play in the round of 16, maybe something more, then we have to beat an opponent like Israel. The atmosphere will be difficult for a young team to carry it. The hall will probably be full , but I hope we can do it. We want to go for the victory,” said point guard Eliška Hamzová.

“I expect it to be a very tough match, because it will be a chance for us and for them to advance from the group. I know that they play tough basketball, they have quick counterattacks and three-point shots. I know that it will be very difficult, but we have to go into it full of energy and with clear heads. I believe that we will win,” added winger Veronika Šípová.

In the event of Italy's defeat, even a loss of 11 points may be enough for the Czech team to advance to the round of 16. “As coaches, we can count on that in some way, but we certainly can't go into the match with the feeling that we have some kind of cushion. We have to play to win and control the match. Of course, if it comes to some end, we will know that there there is something like that, so then we can probably talk about it in a timeout,” declared Bašta.

“Theoretically, it's great to know, but I certainly wouldn't rely on it. I wouldn't allow it at all and go there with the idea that we're going to win and there's no other option,” Šípová added.

The Czechs played on Friday the match against Belgium was already after noon, so they had a long time to recover after two matches in two days. “Yesterday afternoon and this morning we had time off. We went to the beach, the girls went swimming, I just watched from afar. We went out of the basketball bubble to have a little snort after yesterday's unsuccessful match,” said Hamzová, who was suffering from a cold before the tournament and pain in the throat.

“I feel better now, yesterday after the second match I was a bit tired. I was very tired, but I slept through it and tomorrow it will be good again,” said Hamzová. She therefore welcomed the day off. “Even under normal circumstances, it will help, now doubly so,” she added.

Veronika Voráčková also completed today's afternoon training, who has not yet participated in the tournament due to an ankle injury from the warm-up in Prague against Slovakia. It will be decided on its possible start only on Sunday.