Pardubice powers up to finals with a win over Spišskí Rytieri

Pardubice powers up to finals with a win over Spišskí Rytieri

Spišskí Rytieri – BK Pardubice 78:101 (20:25, 19:24, 21:27, 18:25)

Referees: Gracin, Rogič, Miletič (all Croatia)

Attendance: 100

Venue: Športová hala, Levice

Scorers – Rytieri: Dennis 25, Morsell 20, Gavrilović 13, Hlivák 11, Židzik 5, Krajňák and Richardson each 2

Scorers – Pardubice: Švrdlík 21, Svoboda 15, Vranković 14, Pekárek 13, Walton 10, Henry and Potoček each 9, Burda and Vyoral each 5,  Janů, Svojanovský and Tkadlec 0

The second semi-final confrontation at the Final Four of the Alpe Adria Cup got off to a much brisker start. Spišskí Rytieri, with a shorter line-up, came out without any pressure, which paradoxically helped them in the beginning. They were the better team, made fewer mistakes and it showed in the score. But then Pardubice took it into their own hands, with 11 points in a row. In the end, Spišiaci took a breath again, Morsell with a buzzer beater adjusted to 20:25 after the first quarter. Four points at the beginning of the second part almost leveled the duel, overall the evenly matched match continued. The weakened Rytieri bravely resisted, but in the end their opponent rebounded to halftime 39:49.

Spišiaci entered the second half fearlessly, there was still a desire to do something about the negative development of the match. However, as time went by, the difference in the width of the line-up and the fact that the Slovakian team was troubled by health problems started to show. The deficit was increasing, before the last quarter Rytieri were down 60:76. In the end, the game concept of coach Štefan Svitek’s players was already falling apart, Pardubice started to dominate on the floor.

Post-game quotes:

Štefan Svitek, coach of Rytieri: “First of all, congratulations to the opponent for the win. They clearly dominated on offensive rebounding, converting shots from outside, there was a big difference. They also dominated in the rotation, so there’s not much to say about the basketball there. Rather, I would like to get credit to my guys for their performance, their fight and that they played to the end. They didn’t give up. They played against an opponent from a much stronger league than our Slovak league. We will probably play in the next matches in plus or minus such line-ups, so it won’t be much different. It’s good that we played this tough game with this lineup. It showed that we can also play shorthanded. If we present ourselves with fight and collective play, we have a chance to achieve something in the Slovak league.”

Ivan Židzik, player of Rytieri: “The game was decided in the third quarter, where we could score only four points in about seven minutes and we got maybe five threes. We played with a shorthanded lineup, but that can’t excuse us. We tried to fight for each other. Unfortunately, that’s where it broke down and we couldn’t pull it off. They outplayed us in the under the rim, they were more physical. As pivots, we couldn’t shut down Švrdlík and Vrankovič. It was also decided on second-chance points, they clearly outplayed us there.”

Dino Repeša, coach of Pardubice: “It was an important game for us. We wanted to do something extra after achieving our goal of reaching the Final Four – to advance to the final. The start of the game was not very good, the defence was a problem. Spišská Nová Ves had easy shots, especially under the basket Dennis was giving us problems. In the next quarters we controlled the defense better. The offense was great, scoring 49 points in a half is a good number. The defense also got better as time went on. It’s a shame about the injury to Potočka, he’s an important player for us. He probably has a broken hand. So he’s joined Šafarčík. It will be difficult without two important scorers. We saw great energy from Levice, especially at the beginning of the game. They were very motivated. I think we are going to have a great game in a great atmosphere. We’ve played together three times this season, so we probably don’t have much to surprise ourselves.”

Michal Svoboda, player of Pardubice: “We came to Levice with the goal to win here. After a long journey, I think we didn’t have a perfect start. We had enough also in our heads that the opponent came with 7 players. Maybe it affected us a little bit. The first half wasn’t ideal, but after that we said in the dressing room that this is not the way to fight for the trophy. In the second half we played a bit better. I think we deserved to win because we basically controlled the game.”