The national team had only eleven players available. Tomáš Satoranský was once again left sitting on the bench with a sore ankle, but from where he tried to pump energy into his teammates with great enthusiasm. It worked especially for Jan Veselý, and Satoranský’s future colleague from Barcelona showed several great rebounds and powerful finishes under the basket right from the start, and the Czechs led 13:5 after five minutes.
The game performance of the representatives did not lack swing or idea. Just as well as they finished against Serbia on Saturday, they also finished in a match between two teams without a win against the Netherlands. Above all, the improving Czech defense paid off against the opponent every minute, the offensive effort was also supported by three three-pointers in the first quarter.
An important factor for the ever-thinning lead of the home team was their significant advantage on the rebound, the infallible hand with great taste of the playing Veselý, and also the great movement of Kyzlinka, who also helped effectively with passing. The Dutch tried to catch it by shooting from a distance, but in the first half of the game they sent only one of fifteen three-point attempts into the basket.
The packed hall of more than eight thousand spectators enthusiastically acknowledged that the representatives really found their basketball instincts and, thanks to a 14-point streak at the end of the second quarter, they also set the halftime score to a very pleasant 50:27.
But the break brought a radical turning point. The best player of the Dutch team, de Jong, started to hit hard shots from the perimeter, other teammates joined him in a successful three-pointer, the Czech team had considerable difficulties against the visitors’ zone defense, and the comfortable lead quickly thinned.
Alarming were only seven points of the representatives in eight minutes of the third quarter, until the end of which the game improved at least slightly thanks to substitute Peterka. However, the opponent scored thirty points in this period, which was more than in the entire first half. The great Dutch excitement meant that the Czech path to the necessary victory would not be easy at all.
Four minutes before the end, the score was 75:71 and the best home scorer, Veselý, found himself under the threat of a foul. Nevertheless, he finished cautiously, and converted important free throws in the last minute. When Peterka scored his sixth three-pointer from seven attempts, the representatives could be relieved. The first win of the tournament was in the pocket.
|European Basketball Championship – Group D|
|Czechia – Netherlands 88:80 (24:14, 50:27, 66:57)|
|Lineup and points of the Czech Republic: Veselý 24, Kyzlink 12, Hruban 8, Sehnal 5, Kříž – Peterka 20, Jelínek 10, J. Bohačík 6, Balvín 3, Krejčí.|
|Most Netherlands points: Franke 22, De Jong 13, Edwards 12.|
|Fouls: 21:16. Free throws: 14/11 – 24/19. Triples: 9:9. Rebounds: 37:25. Viewers: 8063.|
|You can find the results of other EC matches here >>>|