Spišskí Rytieri with another offensive performance, this time not enough for Ústí nad Labem

Spišskí Rytieri with another offensive performance, this time not enough for Ústí nad Labem

Spišskí Rytieri – SLUNETA Ústí nad Labem 100:87 (24:16, 16:18, 27:23, 33:30)

Referees: Mordal, Tybor, Puzon (all Poland)

Attendance: 500

Scorers – Spišskí Rytieri: Smith 22, Kigab and Reeves each 14, Juríček and Pipkins each 12, Fusek and Mrviš each 8, Lopez 7, Antoni 3, Hlivák 0)

Scorers – Ústí nad Labem: Nichols 21, Autrey 15, Pecka 12, Maverick 10, Johnson and Váňa each 9, Karlovský 6, Nábělek 5, Maděra 0

Coach Hojč shuffled the lineup, compared to recent games, and they had to make up for their opponent’s lead at the beginning of the game. This process did not last long, already in the 4th minute Fusek sent Rytieri into the lead. Rytieri then helped themselves considerably with a 14:2 stretch, which was framed by collective play. The home team won the first quarter 24:16. The first half of the second period was also going well for the home team, they managed to eliminate key faces on the other side and minimize the lapses in the game. But then came a lapse in concentration, which was joined by missed chances and bad decisions in attack, which Ústí nad Labem used to pull away to 34:40 by the end of the half.

After the break, Lopez came in extremely pumped up, suddenly the entire playgroundd was all over him and he also contributed to bringing the home team back to a double-digit lead. He was later joined by Mrviš and Spišiaci regained control of the situation on the floor. Ústí nad Labem, however, did not give up its chance for a turnaround, even though the home team led 67:57 before the last quarter. Rytieri held steady at the start of this part, which helped significantly on their way to their second win in Group A. They maintained their lead and scored when they needed to, especially at the hands of Pipkins. In the end, SLUNETA still threatened, but the home basketball players didn’t let the win slip out of their hands anymore.

Post-game quotes: 

Teo Hojč, coach of Spišskí Rytieri: „We are grateful for this victory, every international confrontation is important for us. Our performance certainly wasn’t ideal, some things were good, while other things needed improvement. However, I am satisfied with the win against a strong team. We had to fight until the end. Currently, we have 10 players in our rotation, which is our plan, but it must work in our favor. It wasn’t the case in Prievidza, but in this match, it worked.“

Adam Antoni, player of Spišskí Rytieri: „I am very pleased with the victory over a high-quality opponent who is currently in third place in the Czech highest league. We showed a solid defensive performance, although there were some mistakes. As for the offense, we scored 100 points, and that speaks for itself.“

Jan Šotnar, coach of Ústí nad Labem: „First of all, congratulations to my colleague and his team on a well-deserved victory. The home team played with much greater energy, it seemed like a weight fell on us, especially in the offense where we didn’t perform as we wanted, and the opponent surpassed us in that aspect. Our group in this competition is quite competitive, and Spišská Nová Ves is one of our rivals in the battle for promotion.“

Martin Nábělek, player of Ústí nad Labem: „We didn’t play as a team today. The opponent played with more energy, and the home team’s players were ahead of us in all essential aspects, which reflected in the final result. We need to analyze this match and take a lesson from it.“