GTK Gliwice won in the second leg with Egis Kormend 81:80, but it was not enough to advance to the final, in which the Hungarians will play. Pawel Turkiewicz’s players in the first performance in the Alpe Adria Cup will be classified in 3-4 places.
GTK Gliwice vs. Egis Körmend 81:80 (22:21, 46:43, 59:66)
Referees: Robert Mordal, Michal Kuzia, Mateusz Skorek (all POL) Audience: 250. Venue: Arena Gliwice (POL)
Exactly two weeks ago in Gliwice a miracle happened. GTK made up 21 points from the first quarterfinal match against Zalakerama ZTE KK and achieved promotion to the semifinals. Only a few days later, the team from Gliwice again went to Hungary and this time they lost the difference of 20 points with Egis Kormend. The question was whether once again Paweł Turkiewicz’s players will play such a great match as in the rematch in the 1/4 finals, but whether the Hungarians will not allow such a scenario and will maintain a safe distance.
Gliwice did not intend to wait for the situation to develop. Like two weeks ago, they moved with big energy. Kacper Radwanski completed the run with the dunk. Riley LaChance showed off with 2 + 1 action and it was 9:3. The rivals quickly saw that their situation could get complicated enough and went to make up for their losses. After TJ Price’s three point shot it was only 9:8. Under the basket we watched the duels of Damonte Dodd and Mario Delas, both of whom won in the offensive. When Leyton Hammonds tried shot behind the arc, a draw appeared on the scoreboard (15:15). The hosts once again jumped on the difference of five points after Myles Mack got from a distance, but thanks to Milan Csorvasi, the guests reduced their losses to just one point (22:21) after the first 10 minutes of the game.
When Delas scored, Egis took the lead for the first time. After a while Gliwice attacked again due to bench players. Their effective actions allowed them to be closer to winning again, but the team from Kormend were constantly counterbalancing the situation. Also in their roster was flashing reserve, Xavier Thomas. The American scored five points in a short period of time, and when Csaba Ferencz came in behind the 6.75 m line, the visitors jumped five points (29:34). It only irritated GTK, which – thanks to the duet Piotr Robak – Kacper Radwanski immediately started the canonade (39:36). Desonta Bardford led to the next draw, but the last word in this half belonged to GTK. Dawid Słupiński tried on distance, and the next two points were added by Mack (46:43).
The Hungarians did not need much time after a break to reverse the situation on the floor. After only two minutes of play, they led to a tie, and after two accurate free throws of Delas, took the lead (48:50). GTK had huge problems with the offensive, and the guests consistently accumulated points during this time. After Hammond’s three point shot it was already 48:57. Only Maverick Morgan, who finished two actions under the basket, broke through the Gliwice. Jakub Dloniak also added from a distance, but Egis calmly controlled the situation. Thomas’s next successful actions allowed guests after 30 minutes of game lead by the difference of seven points (59:66) and practically start the celebration because of advance to the final.
Coach Matthias Zollner designated players who usually have fewer opportunities to play, but they were going to take advantage of their chance. After the 2 + 1 action of Gergely Lajsz Hungarians they were already 10 points more than opponent (61:71). When Thomas added two points from free throw line hit it seemed that Egis will win for the second time. However, GTK did not intend to give up yet and Marek Piechowicz gave a positive impulse. And yet for 2.5 minutes before the final sound, the Kormend team had 10 points (68:78), but the Gliwice team played the end perfectly. The rain of three points shots – Dloniak and Radwanski x2 – and an effective entry under the basket introduced in the end of Mateusz Szlachetka made it possible to achieve the minimum victory before say goodbye to the Alpe Adria Cup.
Kacper Radwanski, player of Gliwice: “The advantage of the Egis from the first match was so big that even despite the victory, it failed to advance. However, we are happy with the triumph, because in recent times there was a certain impasse. I hope that this will push us to a better performance and further victories in league matches. Personally, I feel slightly unsatisfied because it seems to me that we could be in the final. However, the aggregate counts, and the opponent in the first match explained how played in such games.”
Matthias Zollner, head coach of Körmend: “Congratulations for Gliwice for the win. They suprised us in last two and a half minutes when they came out and finally were better. In general, I’m really satisfied from the form of all players. We played very good in defense. We kept Gliwice under 60 points after three quarters, which is usually very difficult when you play away. Before the game we had only one practice because we played during the weekend league game and we do not have time to came to Gliwice earlier. I wish all the best for GTK in the polish league and I hope that we will meet again in the future.”