Komárno maintained their winning streak, at home they were assured of participation in the quarter-finals

Komárno maintained their winning streak, at home they were assured of participation in the quarter-finals

BC Komárno – Kapfenberg Bulls 67:65 (10:16, 18:19, 20:14, 19:16)

Referees: Stretea, Goina, Dragoi

Attendance: 300

Venue: Mestská športová hala, Komárno

Scorers – Komárno: Stuckey 22, Volárik 13, Marković and Gašić each 9, Vicentić 7, Dolník , Podojak 2, Foltín 1, Danielič a Skvašik 0

Scorers – Kapfenberg: Greene 24, Flood 13, Krstič and Varner each 10, Latković 6, Podany 2, Adamu a Voetsch 0

The first four points were scored by the home team Komárno, but then the visiting Kapfenberg took over the game. First they erased the not too high deficit and then they took the lead. The “Devils” were struggling shooting and playing, which the Austrians used to take a 6-point lead after the first part – 16:10. This state of affairs continued in the second quarter, Komárno didn’t score points for 6 minutes and cashed in a 0:10 lead. There was a momentary glimpse of improvement, but the visiting duo of Green and Flood even increased the lead to 15 points. Lousy shooting kept the home team’s feet tapping for a long time, but that changed in the 8th minute with Markovic’s first three of the game. From that moment on, it was a positive break, Komarno managed to quickly close the gap to 7 points by the break – 28:35.

The improvement continued in the second half, step by step the chances for a turnaround increased. The important moment came first after 150 seconds, when Gašič equalised at 35:35. A minute later Volárik put Komárno in the lead after a long time. Kapfenberg didn’t give up from this situation and kept the game even though they lost their lead. For a long time the chances of victory were basically the same for both teams. It showed in the score before the last 10-minute period – 48:49. Every point was crucial in the fight for the win, and since not many of them fell in this game, it was a particularly important factor. Komárno again chose the wrong moment to shoot worse, so they had to close the gap in the end. That’s when Stuckey took matters into his own hands, scoring 5 points in a row to help the “Devils” to a turnaround and ultimately becoming the hero of the game. The home team had the last offensive possession and it was the American point guard who decided the Komárno triumph almost at the same time as the horn sounded.

Post-game quotes:

Zlatko Jovanović, coach of Komárno: “Congratulations to my players, because of the character, that they showed. As you see, we are in some kind of exhaustion, we are so nervous and under pressure, but I do not know why. Probably, because people are full of expectations, they think we became champions or something. We will talk about it in the locker room. We have only one pressure as last season, we play like we practice. These guys are practicing really well, they come on the court with that pressure and I do not know why. Mathematically, we are in playoffs in Alpe Adria Cup, that is a good result for the club, for the team and for the players. Now we have two days to recover, probably we stay without some of the players, because of injuries, but we play our next match against Prievidza in our league, which will be a difficult game.”

Demarkus Stuckey, player of Komárno: “Definitely a tough match, they were a better team, than the last game. We came out flat, very bad, but we finished the game, found the way to stick together and luckily we made shots.”

Michael Schrittwieser, coach of Kapfenberg: “Congratulations to the home team, unfortunately we did not have the full team roster to win that game.”

Brad Greene, player of Kapfenberg: “I was a hard game, we came out really strong. Unfortunately, the home team came out stronger in the second half and that was so bad for us. I think, that was a good step for our team and hopefully we can learn from this.”