Updates: 27.07.2021 15:43
TOKYO – Czech basketball players will perform in their second appearance at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday from 14:00 CET against the favored France and will fight for another move to their dream progress to the quarterfinals. Coach Ronen Ginzburg’s charges initially defeated Iran 84:78 and the French confirmed their qualities by winning over the defenders of the triumph from the last three US Olympics 83:76. Under five circles, they prepared for them the first loss since 2004 after a series of 25 wins.
From the three groups, the first two teams and the next two best from the third places will advance to the playoffs. The winner of the duel should not be missing in the quarterfinals, but the final score for the loser can also play a big role in the promotion numbers.
The Czechs competed with France for the last time in the qualification of the previous year’s World Cup. At the end of November 2018, they lost 65:79 at home in Pardubice and 66:82 in February.
“When we put together our experience, energy, fun and manage to concentrate for forty minutes, I think we have a good chance,” said winger Blake Schilb before the battle with the favorite.
The Czechs already took care of the surprise at the beginning of July in qualifying in Victoria, where they defeated Canada in the semifinals with eight NBA 103: 101 players after extra time and then completed the promotion to the Olympics after 41 years in the final against Greece (97:72). Schilb shone 31 points against Canada.
The French have five players in the NBA team, Nicolas Batum of the Los Angeles Clippers, Evan Fournier of Boston, Rudy Gobert of Utah, Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot of Brooklyn and Frank Ntilikina of New York, who did not intervene in the first duel. The team pulled against the USA with a shoot with 28 points Fournier and near the double double was Gobert with 14 points and nine rebounds.
“It’s an athletic team with a lot of experience. Of course the French are favorites, but I think we will be fine before the match. Of course we have to show a much better performance,” said Captain Tomas Satoransky after the victory over Iran, which the Czechs decided over lead of 22 points in the third quarter at the end.
Pivot Jan Veselý is looking forward to a duel with a teammate from Fenerbahce Istanbul, Nande De Cole, with whom he was in contact during the qualification in Canada. “He wrote me a lot of luck before the match in the final, then he congratulated me,” said Veselý, who, in addition to the only current Czech representative in the NBA, Satoranský from Chicago, also has experience from the best league in the world.
“France has a very good team and has been in the last four teams for many years, whether at the European or World Championships. It’s another very strong opponent. It won’t be easy. It will depend on how the team manages to come together, and “maybe a little luck will be needed. But I think there is a better chance than against the USA,” said the winger David Jelínek.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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