Both teams received a standing ovation from the stands for a perfect spectacle. The national team let Satoranský rest completely during Saturday’s game to give him more time to rehabilitate his ankle, and in the stormy atmosphere of the sold-out hall, they led 7:5 after four minutes, but the Serbians promptly responded with a nine-point streak.
At that moment, the most valuable player in the NBA, Jokič, began to take office, defending Veselý and Balvín almost without a chance, even though they had a few centimeters on top. The 27-year-old star from Denver scored eleven of the twenty Serbian points in the first quarter.
However, the Czechs performed better in defense than the day before against the Poles. However, the strength of the opponent was considerable and the key to calming him down was when he did not allow the representatives to score at all for five minutes at the beginning of the second quarter. While the national team bought mistakes under the pressure of the opponent, the Serbians quickly put fifteen points in a row in the second act.
The score at 3:35 p.m. was cruel for the home team, but they lacked space and speed to advance offensively despite frequent rotation. The home side’s frequent losses (a total of 18 in the game) allowed the opponent to use a well-managed quick counterattack.
Only the arrival of Krejčí brought a bit of imagination. However, it was not possible to reduce the points deficit for a long time, the Czech side simply did not have the same individuality as in the Serbian jersey. At the same time, it was not only the phenomenal Jokic, but also the quarterback Micic, the mainstay of the Euroleague champions from the Turkish club Anadolu Efes, or Kalinic, the new teammate of Veselý and Satoranský from Barcelona.
The stormy atmosphere in the packed auditorium, where 15,067 spectators, including two-time Olympic champion in judo Lukáš Krpálek, crammed the representatives, made the representatives try to do something about the result. They even won the third quarter thanks to a three-pointer at the end of this part (24:17).
The Czech team suddenly showed the best basketball in the last three weeks, awakened all the right instincts and the hall was buzzing like a beehive when Hruban reduced the score to 53:62 eight minutes before the end.
The 73-year-old Serbian coach Pešič immediately brought back all the stars, led by Jokic, back on the board. However, the awakened Czech team toiled with tremendous energy, alongside Krejčí, Peterk and Hruban also played with gusto, and two minutes before the end it was only 68:76.
Although the representatives did not achieve a turnaround, it was evident that they got rid of the cramp and improved their mental attitude before the three key matches in the group, which they must win to open the way for promotion. The first on the way will be the Netherlands on Monday, a day later Finland and on Thursday at the end of the Prague group Israel.
|European Championship of basketball players|
|Group D (Prague):|
|Czechia – Serbia 68:81 (15:20, 25:43, 49:60)|
|Lineup and points of the Czech Republic: Hruban 13, Balvín 8, Sehnal 5, Veselý 2, J. Bohačík – Krejčí 13, Peterka 11, Auda 8, Kyzlink 5, Jelínek 3, Kříž.|
|Most points for Serbia: Jokic 18, Micic 13, Marinkovic 11.|
|Fouls: 24:16. Free throws: 13/12 – 23/19. Triples: 8:8. Rebounds: 38:34. Viewers: 15,067.|
|You can find the results of the other Saturday matches HERE.|