Banská Bystrica without a loss, Split confirmed second place

Banská Bystrica without a loss, Split confirmed second place

KAŽL Split – Slávia Banská Bystrica 34:111 (11:21, 5:32, 9:31, 9:26)

Referees: Eger, Jäger, Frank (all Austria)

Attendance: 40

Scorers – Split: Pirjak 15, Buckner 12, Rimarčuk 4, Pavić 3,

Scorers – Banská Bystrica: Malashka 19, Pulliam 13, Bogičević and Podhradská each 12, Brabencová 11, Bura 10, Martišková and Striešová each 9, Holíková 6, Užovičová 5, Mujović 3, Da Cruz 2

The journey was initially a bit tiring for both teams, so the field goal percentage was correspondingly poor at the start of the game. However, Banska Bystrica created better chances thanks to good team play, got into the game, and quickly pulled away. Split only scored from the free throw line until the ninth minute, when Ana Pavic freed the Croatians from their bad luck with a three-pointer. Split trailed 11:21 after the first ten minutes. After the first quarter break, the Slovakians stepped up a gear and went on a 19:0 run to make it 40:11. Shortly before the end of the first half, Split’s guard Pavic got unfortunately injured and had to leave the court. Favorites Banska Bystrica clearly showed their skills in this quarter and were already 54:16 ahead at halftime.

After the half-time break, Banska Bystrica continued to play at a high tempo in offense and defense and hardly allowed their young opponents from Croatia any chances. Split tried to keep up the pace on offense, but they seemed slightly tired and did not hit their shots. After 30 minutes, Banska Bystrica was already 60 points in the lead. Despite the large deficit, the young team from Croatia did not give up in the final quarter and continued to fight against their overpowering opponents. Banska Bystrica was unimpressed, continued to play fast-paced team basketball (all players scored), and ultimately defeated Split 111:34.

Post-game quotes:

Vjekoslav Lokica, coach of Split: “Today we honestly played a very bad game. Slavia was the much better team. We knew that they were great, but we didn´t expect that we would play that badly. In the end, we had two injured players, and that is the worst about the game.”

Dynnah Angelika Buckner, player of Split: “On this competition, we didn’t have moments where we played together, but we had to play together for 40 minutes. But other than that, we played hard, we were a bit fatique, but now we know what we have to do in the next game.”

Laura van Dalen, assistant coach of Banská Bystrica: “We had one goal, we wanted to win this game, and we did what we needed to do. I am glad that every player got their time on the court, and we acted like we did.”

Kseniya Malashka, player of Banská Bystrica: “I think it was a good game for us to find our rhythm, play our game, try to run, and get our legs ready for the game tomorrow. I think it is a great tournament, I like the area around here, it is a great city, and I am just excited to be here.”

ŽKD Maribor – BK Raiffeisen Duchess 75:70 (21:20, 11:22, 15:11, 28:17)

Referees: Stokic, Nghixulifwa, Wagner (all Austria)

Attendance: 120

Scorers – Maribor: Tomšić 16, Dedić 14, Brečelj 12, Trantura 10, Stojko 9, Grujić 7, Steharnik 5, Petrović 2

Scorers – Duchess: Arias 17, P. Zderadicka 14, L. Zderadicka 13, Höllerl 10, Vamvaka and A. Zderadicka each 6, Winkler 4

The visitors from Maribor got off to a better start, but the BK Raiffeisen Duchess quickly got into the game, and an evenly poised encounter ensued. The home side then suffered a shock after just under five minutes: Eva Vamvaka fell to the floor after a defensive move and apparently hurt her shoulder – she had to be substituted but was later able to return to the game. The game remained close, and the score was 21:20 in Maribor’s favor after the first ten minutes. The Slovenians were more focused in the opening phase of the second quarter and built up a small lead. That was a wake-up call for the players from Klosterneuburg, who stepped up a gear and took the lead after around five minutes. They now dominated the game and were clearly 42:32 ahead at halftime.

The Duchesses initially remained the better team after the break and increased their lead. However, Maribor then stepped up the pressure and slowly closed the gap again. Nevertheless, the home side defended its lead and went into the final period with a six-point advantage.

The Duchess seemed to have everything under control again in the final quarter, but Maribor remained pesky and kept the game open. The visitors even recaptured the lead with just under three minutes remaining, and the game entered a tightly contested final phase. The Slovenians proved to have better nerves and ultimately decided the game.

Post-game quotes: 

Alen Ploj, coach of Maribor: “I am very happy, because we really played a good game. The first half was not so good, second half was much better. It was our first win in this competition, and of course I am really happy.”

Merisa Dedić, player of Maribor: „Today was an excellent game. We won, and I am really happy for my team. The game was very hard because they played on a higher level. I am really proud of my team.“

Franz Zderadicka, coach of Duchesses: “It’s a shame, we held the lead for almost the entire game, but it was a good school for us because we still have other goals this season. The decisive factors in the end were Maribor’s many offensive rebounds and the transition defense, which wasn’t ideal today.”

Victoria Matzka, player of Duchesses: “We started well in the first half and led by ten points at the break. After that, we made poor decisions on offense and left too many gaps in defense. That cost us the win.”

ŽKD Maribor – KA6L Split 60:77 (12:20, 15:11, 19:24, 14:22)

Referees: Axmann, Major, Sarioglu (all Austria)

Attendance: 40

Scorers – Maribor: Brečelj 20, Tomšić 16, Steharnik 12, Petrović and Trantura each 4, Dedić and Grujić each 2

Scorers – Split: Buckner 23, Pirjak 22, Božan 14, Langhi 12, Bilić 4, Barać 2

Both teams struggled to find their offensive rhythm in the early stages. As a result, the score was “only” 7:2 from Split’s perspective after just under five minutes. Whereas Maribor continued to struggle to capitalize on its chances, the Croatians increasingly got into the game and stretched their lead to as many as eleven points. The Slovenians finally scored a little more in the final phase of the first quarter, but Split still had a clear 20:12 lead after the first ten minutes. Both teams again achieved relatively little offense in the second period, so the gap remained fairly constant. It was now the team from Maribor that acted better and slowly caught up. They equalized the game two minutes before the break, but Split finished the half strongly and went into the locker room with a 31:27 lead.

Split stepped up the pressure after the break and pulled ten points ahead again. Maribor was then able to deal with it better in the course of the third quarter and so prevented itself from falling further behind. Split was 55:46 ahead at the end of the third period. The Croatians got off to a strong start in the final quarter and quickly pulled 62:46 ahead. From then on, they were in control of the game and did not allow their opponents to catch up. In the end, they celebrated a secure 77:60 victory.

Post-game quotes: 

Alen Ploj, coach of Maribor: “In the first half, we played a good match, in the second, we made some mistakes. Good win for Split, we wish them good luck in the final four.”

Spela Brečelj, player of Maribor: “We played better than the last game against Split, but we had problems in the defense. We did our best, but they were better.”

Vjekoslav Lokica, coach of Split: “We played better than yesterday, and we are happy to win. We already had chances to come to the final four before this game, so this game was not so important, but we are always happy to win.”

Dynnah Buckner, player of Split: “The game was pretty well. The best part was our energy. We knew we had to play a good defense with good communication and offense, and that was what we did.”

Slávia Banská Bystrica – BK Raiffeisen Duchess 95:49 (24:12, 32:14, 17:18, 22:5)

Referees: Reiner, Nizamic, Ivanovic (all Austria)

Attendance: 150

Scorers – Banská Bystrica: Brabencová 21, Bogičević and Malashka 12, Pulliam 11, Bura 9, Užovičová 8, Martišková 7, Da Cruz 6, Mujović 4, Podhradská 3, Striešová 2

Scorers – Duchess: L. Zderadicka 11, Arias 10, Matzka and Winkler each 8, A. Zderadicka 5, P. Zderadicka 3, Motaln and Polygalova each 2

The places were already taken before the game. The ladies from Banska Bystrica, who also play EuroCup Women, were the group winners. The Duchesses had already secured third place in the group before kick-off. Nevertheless, the first few minutes were an open, combative exchange of blows. The Duchesses were repeatedly able to steal the ball out of the Slovakians’ hands and keep the game open for a long time in the first quarter. However, Klosterneuburg conceded several turnovers in the final two minutes, and Slavia Banska Bystrica did not miss the chance to pull away. The first quarter ended at 24:12 in favor of the ladies from Slovakia. They had now also found their rhythm. With a very stable defense and good combination play on offense, they extended their lead to 42:15 in the first five minutes of the second quarter. Pia Zderadicka then doubled the Duchesses’ points in the third quarter with a three-pointer and seemed to shake them up. Klosterneuburg got back into the game better and managed to score a few points. However, the visitors remained error-free on offense, and the score at halftime was 26:56 from the Duchesses’ perspective.

Slavia Banska Bystrica also came back strong after the break. They dominated the opening minutes with a high shooting percentage and continued aggressive defense. However, the Duchesses also fought back in the third quarter. Sarah Winkler was able to make it 2 and 1 twice in the space of a few minutes, and Victoria Matzka hit a three. In the end, Klosterneuburg was even able to win the quarter at 18:17. The favored Slovakians showed their strength once again in the final period and left nothing to chance. They won the game by 95:49.

Post-game quotes: 

Zuzana Žirková, coach of Banská Bystrica: “The whole team played with a lot of energy. We had some problems in the defense, we need to take care of them for our important game on Wednesday. Congrats to Klosterneuburg. It was a good game.”

Kristýna Brabencová, player of Banská Bystrica: „I am very happy that we finished with a win. We tried some plays because we have an important game on Wednesday. We wanted to take it as a good practice and use the time we have well. I am excited for the Final Four.“

Franz Zderadicka, coach of Duchess: “We played against a professional team today that is certainly a level above us. Despite the heavy defeat, I’m satisfied. We accepted the fight and certainly learned a lot. In Austria, we don’t have the opportunity to test ourselves at this level. The positive thing is that we were able to secure third place in the end.”

Sarah Winkler, player of Duchess: “Our aim today was to perform better than in our first match. We had some good actions in the game and successfully kept them under 100 points with our defense.”