Basketball – illustrative photo.
Tel Aviv – Czech women's basketball players entered the European Championship in Tel Aviv with a 61:58 victory over Italy, despite already losing by 14 points in the third quarter. Petra Holešínská decided with a three-pointer 53 seconds before the end, and Eliška Hamzová sealed the win. The second match awaits coach Romana Ptáčková on Friday at 11:15 a.m. CET against Belgium.
Hamzová, who started with a cold, and Holešínská scored 14 points and were the best scorers of the match. Captain Renáta Březinová contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Olbis Andreová, Jasmine Keysová and Cecilia Zandalasiniová each scored 10 points in the Italian team.
The Czech team started without winger Veronika Voráčková, who is struggling with an ankle injury. In the first quarter, they caught up from the start and led only after Březinová's three-pointer 8:7, to which the Italians responded with an eight-point streak. However, the selection of coach Ptáčková leveled the pace.
In the second part, he led most of the time and escaped to a 25:20 lead thanks to a six-point streak. The Italians took a 33:29 lead before halftime thanks to a basket by Zandalasini and a three-pointer by Laura Spreafic, but Tereza Vyoralová only made it a one-point deficit from a distance.
The start of the second half belonged to Italy, which led 46:32 thanks to a thirteen-point streak. It was interrupted only after five minutes and 41 seconds without a point by Gabriela Andělová, which started the Czech team on an 11-0 streak and suddenly they were back in the game with a deficit of only three points. After the third quarter, the score was 50:43 for Italy.
At the start of the final quarter, Kateřina Zeithammerová, Březinová and Natálie Stoupalová reduced the difference to a single point. After two free throws by Hamzová, they succeeded again, and 98 seconds before the end, Březinová made it 56:56 with a three-pointer. Holešínská turned the situation around with another three-point basket, and Hamzová responded to Zandalasiniová's reduction with a successful penetration eight seconds before the end.
Hamzová overcame the illness and shone, according to her, the team showed great potential
Point guard Eliška Hamzová was able to cope with a cold before the start of the European Championship in Tel Aviv and played a significant role in the women's basketball team's opening victory over Italy, 61:58. With 14 points, she was the best scorer of the match together with Petra Holešínská, adding two assists and two rebounds. She was happy that her team was able to turn the game around and bring it to a successful end, despite a bad start to the second half and a deficit of up to 14 points. Hamzová sealed the win eight seconds before the end.
“At the beginning of the second half, we were down a lot, but we managed it and turned it around. That last basket was, to put it in the common sense, a slog. But I think the team has a lot of potential and we showed it,” Hamzová told reporters after the match.
She was glad that the team was able to react to the failed passage. “The Italians put a lot of pressure on us at the beginning of the second half, and we weren't able to make much of an impact. Then Gába Andělová made one basket and suddenly it broke after five minutes. Then our defense didn't allow them much,” praised the 21-year-old Žabin Brno player.< /p>
During the Monday night transfer from Prague to Tel Aviv, she was traveling sick, but she managed to get the tournament started together. With planned relief from coach Romana Ptáčková, she managed the duel. In the end, with 21 minutes and 40 seconds, she was the fifth busiest Czech player out of the ten who played in the game. today I was fine. I didn't know how I would be physically, I was worried sometimes. But I think it was not bad at all for the fact that I was sick now,” said Hamzová, who is starting at the second EC in her career.
The Czech team managed to eliminate the Italian mainstay Cecilia Zandalasini, who hit only five of 15 attempts when shooting from the field. With 10 points, she was the leading scorer on the losing side along with Olbis Andre and Jasmine Keys, adding eight assists and five rebounds, but the goal was still accomplished.
“I think we defended Zandalasini well, but for her it's about whether she can do it. You could see that the Italians played a lot on the outside shooters. However, their strength is also under the basket, unlike us, but still we managed it. It's really difficult, because we don't have such strong pivots. Emma Čechová is still young and not that strong. The rest of us are smaller. It will be even more difficult with Belgium, because they have really massive pivots, but we have to help the little ones,” she pointed out Hamzová.
The second match awaits the Czechs against Belgium on Friday. “We are happy and euphoric, but we can only celebrate until we get to the hotel. Then we have to put our heads together and fight because we see that we can play Italy, who have a lot of players in the Euroleague, so why can't we play Belgium.” added Hamzová.
Group B (Tel Aviv):
Czech Republic – Italy 61:58 (17:17, 32:33, 43 :50)
Composition and points Czech Republic: Hamzová, Holešínská both 14, Březinová 12, Stoupalová 9, Vyoralová 3 – G. Andělová 5, Šípová, Zeithammerová both 2, Čechová, Sklenářová.< /p>
Most points Italy: Andreová, Keysová, Zandalasiniová all 10.
Fouls: 17:19. Free throws: 10/5 – 7/4. Triples: 8:6. Rebounds: 31:38.