GTK Gliwice is the last semfinalist of this Alpe Adria Cup season. Despite a loss by 21 points against Zalakeramia ZTE KK in the first quarterfinals game, the Polish team moved to the next round by winning 128:99 at home.
GTK Gliwice vs. Zalakeramia ZTE KK 128:99 (37:29, 67:49, 98:77)
Referees: Robert Mordal, Michal Kuzia, Mateusz Skorek (POL). Audience: 300. Venue: Arena Gliwice (POL).
As much as 21 points of loss. That’s what GTK Gliwice had to deal with in the second quarterfinal match against Zalakerama ZTE KK to stay in the competition. The task was certainly extremely difficult, but not impossible. From the first seconds of the match, the hosts moved very hard to attack. Their offense was excellent and after most shots the ball fell into the basket. Basketball players from Hungary did not want to be worse. Their leader, Bernard Thompson, also had no problems with making accurate shots. Under the basket, Andriy Agafonov was effective and the guests even took a lead for a moment (10:11). After a while the action of 2 + 1 was shown by Jakub Dloniak and Desmond Wahington started to score from distance. From 13:13, GTK scored eleven points in the row and jumped away from the opponent. Thompson interrupted the local series from behind the 6.75 m line. The team of Pawel Turkiewicz was not going to stop. Dawid Slupinski was effective on the free throw line. A good substitution was made by Piotr Robak, who was in a great shooting form that day and if it were not for Thompson, a lot of the deficite from the first match would be offset after the first 10 minutes of play, and it was only 37:29.
Zalakeramia started the second quarter well. Zsolt Szabo performed 2+1 action, Agafonov scored from distance and their deficite was reduced to just two points (37:35). Team from Gliwice did not abate it and after a while they began to rebuild their advantage. Dodd dominated under the basket, which if he got the ball in the field of three seconds, he usually ended the action with a dunk. Two attempts from the distance tried by Robak and one by Riley LaChance gave more points for home team. The last one dynamically attacked the basket in subsequent actions and the advantage of GTK grew very fast (61:43). Team from Hungary tried to stay alive. Agafonov successfully finished two actions under the basket, and one time added an extra point from the free throw line (67:49). Nevertheless, practically all the deficite from the first match was cut even before the break, and that meant a lot of excitement in the second half.
From the beginning of the third quarter, the guests started to reduce their lost. Thompson played the main role again. The American shooter did not need much space to give an effective throw. In the opposite of backcourt, Dodd was still dominating in the paint. After Szabos successful attempt from the line 6.75 m, who previously missed four long distance throws, Zalakeramia trailed only by 16 points (81:65). Myles Mack reacted in time and perfectly scored behind the arc two times. The Hungarians put on shares under the basket, which Agafonow and Tyrrell Bellot-Green (89:69) finished off with. Dustin Ware also scored from a distance, but Washington quickly responded to him (93:74). Mack and Szabo also took another successful attempts from a distance, and after 30 minutes there was no team that would be closer to the semifinal (98:77).
The fourth quarter began with the duel Mack – Thompson. The first one drove under the basket, and the second one was thrown from a distance (103:83). It was only when things took LaChance’s hand that GTK began to build an advantage. After his three point attempt it was already 115:89 and the situation of the guests became more and more difficult. Agafonov tried to fight yet, but the team from Gliwice were already guarding a valuable advantage. LaChance scored 15 points only in the last quarter. When Zalakeramia lost Szabo, who, unable to accept the decision of the judge received a technical foul and had to leave the backcourt, it became clear that the Hungarians would not be able to make up for the losses. Eventually, GTK won 128:99 and advanced in great style to the semifinal of the Alpe Adria Cup, where they will face Egis Kormend.
Pawel Turkiewicz, head coach of Gliwice: “Zalakeramia seemed a little surprised because they thought it would be easy to play but we managed to pass the rival. We showed that we are very strong in the offensive, but it would be good to reduce the number of points of the opponents.”
Desmond Washington, player of Gliwice: “It was a good game from everyone on our team. We knew if we had the right mentality before the game we could win by 22 points. We got hot very early and wanted to keep that going for the whole game. We are all very happy with how we played and excited for the next round and hopefully play even better to win again.”
Tamas Bencze, head coach of ZTE KK: “The home team played excellent. I have never seen in my carreer such high percentage from outside. We lost that game in the first minutes. We did not play in the defense how we want. We gave so much space for the opponents players. We tried to use different systems in the defense but they had answers for everything.”
Bernard Thompkins, player of ZTE KK: “It was very goog game for the other team. We came into the game too slow. They had more energy, made more effort in the defense. Aggregate score was really closer, but they were a little bit better all in all. Now we will focus on the league competition.”