“This is not how we wanted to start the tournament. We disappointed all the fans who came today, but it’s only the beginning and we still have four games to go. I believe that the players will get a kick out of it,” said coach Ronen Ginzburg, whose team awaits a duel with favored Serbia on Saturday.
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Satoranský was injured at the tournament in Hamburg, and after Wednesday’s individual test, he managed the last evening pre-game training with the team on Thursday. Nevertheless, the team leader was included in the starting line-up against Poland.
“As for the deployment of Tomáš Satoranský in the starting five, we decided on it this morning. If he was to play, the match had to start. We didn’t want him to play more than 15 to 20 minutes. Sure, we missed him in some places in the game, but he had to rest. He’s not 100 percent, but what he did after that injury is amazing. At the end, even with a balanced score, we didn’t put him in the game, so as not to risk possible injury,” admitted the coach.
The Czechs reduced the lead to 35:36 with a ten-point run, which was topped off with a three-pointer by Jaromír Bohačík. In the 18th minute, after Tomáš Kyzlink’s penetration, the Czechs led 41:40 for the first time. Slaughter answered from a distance, after the beautiful interplay of Satoranský with Kyzlink and the scoring Patrik Auda and three converted free throws by Hruban, it was 46:43 again, but it was a tie at the main break.
The Poles again entered the second half better and thanks to five points by Slaughter and a basket by Balcerowski, they escaped with a difference of seven points. The opponent was always able to respond to the reaction of the home team and, on the contrary, Michal Sokolowski increased the score to 64:55. Krejčí responded with a three-pointer and an assist to Auda. But after a basket with a converted free throw by Jakub Schenk and a penalty for Ondřej Sehnal’s loss by Aaron Cel, it was nine points again.
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Sehnal responded with a three-pointer and at the beginning of the last quarter, Hruban had an accurate fly, but the Poles again took the lead by eight points. Thanks to Peterko’s three-pointer, Bohačík’s converted six-pointer and Kyzlinka’s basket, the Czechs reduced the score to 76:78, but the opponent kept the lead mainly thanks to the scorers Ponitek and Slaughet and dominated the end.
It was the first time we played in this big arena, from the beginning we felt a bit of pressure. There was a lot of good and bad, the score flowed up and down and in the end we didn’t manage to win. We made some defensive mistakes that led to easy baskets by the opponent. We should have done a better job there,” admitted Patrik Auda.