When saying goodbye to Prague, the basketball players do not want to say a final goodbye to the championship

“We have the last game ahead of us here in Prague, we are ready to say goodbye to the O2 arena, but we certainly don’t want to say goodbye to the entire championship,” says Jan Veselý, the best Czech scorer at the tournament so far. Any win over Israel will be enough for the national team, provided that before in the last table, the Dutch do not beat Finland.

If there were to be a surprise in the afternoon match, the home team would have to win by at least seven points, a victory of up to 19 points would even move them to third place ahead of the Finns. “It’s an all or nothing match. On Thursday, we have to give everything one hundred percent, says pivot Patrik Auda.

The national team did not meet Israel for eight years. A spicy duel awaits her coach Ronen Ginzburg, who also obtained Czech citizenship last October. “For both teams, it’s an existential match, and from my point of view, it’s also against their home country. But now I live here and I love the Czechia, so there will be a little more emotion,” says the coach, who has led the Czech national team since 2013.

“Sure, I was born in Israel. As soon as the match starts, this has to be put aside. In the end, it’s all about basketball and we just have to win at home,” says Ginzburg. “The situation is extremely complicated, but we mustn’t hang our heads. Our performance is increasing, and we all know what’s at stake on Thursday,” says Veselý.

Absolute intensity is the way to go

Ginzburg has his compatriots in the Israeli jersey scouted in detail. “He tries to play smart and mask his weaknesses under the basket. Youngster Avdija from Washnigton is the main support, but they also have experienced Euroleague players like Ginat, Blatt and Madar in their lineup. We have to fight against them with absolute intensity and concentration in defense,” says the coach of the Czech basketball players.

The usual forward Tomáš Satoranský has miraculously recovered from his sprained ankle and is trying to play despite the difficulties, but you can still see how his right leg limits him and his contribution in terms of points is not significant. The overall concept of the national team’s game sometimes works, sometimes it completely falls apart.

Photo: Vlastimil Vacek, Law

Energetic Vojtěch Hruban (right) during the match against Finland.Photo: Vlastimil VacekRight

However, if the Czech basketball players do not want to end up in embarrassment at the EC, they must win on Thursday. “Defense is the basis of everything, in the key duel we need to have absolute ferocity and the will to win. Both teams are in a similar position. It will mainly be about who wants to seize the progress more,” coach Ginzburg knows well.

The article is in Czech

Tags: goodbye Prague basketball players final goodbye championship

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