Levice flips the script to the finals

BK Levickí Patrioti – USK Praha 79:74 (16:19, 23:18, 29:14, 11:23)

Referees: Tomašovič, Ženiš, Turčin (all SVK).
Audience: 900.
Venue: Sportnova hala Levice (SVK).

Levice: Žiak, Djurič both 20, Kurbas, Sims both 10, Bachan 9, Mijovič, Diabate both 4, Krajčovič 2.
Praha: Raines 17, Sehnal 16, Mareš 15, Madsen 12, Bookert 9, Štěrba 5, Křivánek 2.

FIBA Statistics

Levice started a bit slowly, they did not shoot well and also in the defense they allow to USK too many points. After five minutes the visitors were leading 12:4. But home coach started rotating the starting five, in more than a minute the lead was only about one basket. After first ten minutes the score was 16:19. In the second quarter USK continued to punish the mistakes, they played effectively. Patrioti upped their tempo, which resulted in 13:0 run and finally they were leading in the match. But last word had Mareš, his buzzer beater modified the score to 39:37 for home players.

The home players started the second half the possible way, they managed to get 19:0 run, which was crucial for the match. The opponent lost their self-confidence, first basket they scored almost after seven minutes. These facts resulted into 68:51 Levice lead after third quarter. But the game was not over yet, USK started their run, in one moment they were trailing by four points (draw in overall score). They had also chance to get into finals, but the crucial moments did not get their way. On the other hand, Djurič missed one free throw, then Sims grab the rebound and decided about the fate of the match. Levice won over Prague 79:74 and for the first time they will play in the finals.

Teo Hojč, coach of Levice: “I think, that we were the better team. When we lead by 20 points, we should do better job to keep the lead or raised it. This is something, we must improve before play offs. They managed to score some tough 3-pt shots, for some of them I can´t say guy anything bad. I still think, this was deserved win. In the end it doesn´t matter if it´s by 20, 5 or 1, we won. We are in the finals, which is a big achievement for this team. Sure we try to win the finals.”

Žarko Djurič, player of Levice: “We knew, it´s gone be like that. Let´s not forget, we had on Saturday tough match, our legs felt it. Also it´s hard to motivate on two important matches. We knew that and still we managed to do it. In third quarter it looked easy, but after that, it was not easy. We knew, that they will fight till the end, they showed it. They are young and good team, we can saw it on the intensity of the match. It´s great we won.”

Christianos Chougkaz, coach of Prague: “It was very tough for us, in nine days it was our fifth match. We had a very bad third quarter, but my guy managed to get back into the match. We are a young team, I respect, that they fought. In the end, we could reach the finals tickets, we were not successful.”

Cadarian Raines, player of Prague: “It was a great match, we fight till the end. In the start of fourth quarter we were trailing by 17 points, but we stayed self-confident. In the end, we were not successful. I want to with Levice all the good. I hope, they will win this cup. I´m proud on my guys, they gave everything to this match.”