Successful start to the competition for Ústí nad Labem and Bulls

Successful start to the competition for Ústí nad Labem and Bulls

SLUNETA Ústí nad Labem – KK Dinamo Zagreb 81:73 (16:15, 28:22, 13:27, 24:9)

Referees: Mordal, Kužia, Mateusz Wawrzynski (all Poland)

Attendance: 420

Scorers – Ústí nad Labem: Nichols 39, Váňa 18, Karlovský 11, Haiblík 6, Autrey 5, Pecka 2

Scorers – Zagreb: Novačić 21, Majić 13, Kraljević 12, Brzoja 11, Vučić 7, Nakić-Vojnović, Mikšić, Lukić and Dugandžić each 2, Vrgoć 1, Pavlić and Rukavina 0

The first quarter of the game started well for both teams, good defenses on both sides did not allow a lot of points, but thanks to offensive rebounds, SLUNETA was able to gain a little lead (16:15). In the second part of the game, players from Ústí continued the good work underneath the baskets on rebounds. On the other half of the court had SLUNETA František Váňa who hit 4 threes in the first half and totally made 18 points. And if you add the points from the shooting star from SLUNETA, Ty Nichols (14), you have a half-time lead of 44:37.

Dinamo came out strong from the locker room, started to play much better on defense, and got more rebound in the first half. With a score streak of 4:16, Dinamo gained the lead, and the home coach had to take a time-out. But the guests continued with their good performance and were up after 30 minutes (57:64). But the home team had their shooter, Ty Nichols, who took over the game and led his team, especially in the last quarter. The game was tied with 1 minute left to play. The “hero ball” came again to Ty Nichols, and he made a huge three with a foul. The guests didn´t score on the other half and had to stop the clock with fouls. Home players were able to score from the free throw line and gain the first win in the AAC.

Post-game quotes: 

Jan Šotnar, coach of Ústí nad Labem: “In the game with Zagreb, we had the opportunity to have a great international experience with Croatian basketball against a team that played very well. The first half was one of the best we’ve shown this year, we played as a team on offense. We rotated nine or ten players, and our defense also worked today. I think it fulfilled everything it was supposed to, we won the first game of AAC, and we also gained a lot of valuable experience.”

Ty Nichols, player of Ústí nad Labem: “Very good team from Croatia that showed up here, they were very well prepared, and they wanted to obviously fight for the win. But the coach told us in halftime that we had to play a little bit better and harder than we did. In the last quarter, we were able to make some big stops, and once we gained the lead, we didn´t give it up. Credit to the players, we fought hard today and have the first AAC win.”

Stipe Čurbić, assistant coach of Zagreb: “First of all, congratulations to SLUNETA, they played very well, especially in the first half when we had problems with defensive rebounds. We did better in the second half, but a few mistakes and turnovers in the last quarter cost us the game. In the last quarter, we didn´t finish well, but we can learn a lot from this game and play next time much better.”

Toma Rukavina, player of Zagreb: “We are very disappointed today, we were preparing very intensively for this game. It was a close game, in the first half we did terribly, better in the second half, but the opponent got more offensive rebounds and we made a lot of turnovers, and that’s what costs us this game.”

OCS Capital Bulls  – Spisski Rytieri 82:63 (24:20, 25:32, 25:13, 26:14

Referees: Oprčkal, Smrekar, Smolej (all Slovenia)

Attendance: 250

Scorers – Bulls: Williams 27, Baumann 19, McCants 17, Sow 14, Schrittwieser and Krstic each 6, Vötsch 5, Zapf 4

Scorers – Rytieri: Kigab 15, Hlivák 13, Mrviš 12, Pipkins 11, Reeves 10, Smith 9, Fusek 5, Stančák and Zuščák each 2

The Bulls start with a 5-0 lead in the AAC home game, and the first few minutes belong to the home team: Guests managed a few throws at the beginning, and the Bulls were able to lead by plus nine after five minutes of play and set the tone. It wasn’t until the end of the first quarter that Spisski Rytieri’s team found their way into the game and took advantage of the Bulls’ small mistakes to reduce the deficit. The first quarter still goes to the Bulls at 24:20. In the second period, the Bulls were able to extend their lead to plus six, but their opponents took the momentum from the first quarter onto the floor, adapted to the Bulls’ pace, and were able to turn the tables and take the lead. But things are now evenly balanced in this section as the Bulls fight their way back from minus eight to a tie. After the quarter, Spisski is leading with 49:52.

When they arrived in the third quarter, the Bulls equalized again: The game continued to be on equal terms because the Bulls were able to control the guests with a strong defense and challenge them with a lot of speed. This high level of energy from the Bulls runs through the entire third quarter and is also noticeable in the score: Bulls take the lead again and are ahead 72:65 after the third quarter. At the start of the final quarter, it didn’t take long for the Bulls to take a plus-10 lead with points from Johnny McCants and Noah Baumann. The Bulls don’t let anything go in this fourth period and continue to extend their lead. All the players on the floor are almost unstoppable, and with one minute to go, it’s plus 17 for the Bulls, and the opponents have no chance. Bulls win with 98:79.

Post-game quotes: 

Nemanja Krstic, player of Bulls: “Very good game from the whole team today, we did a good job and had them under control from the first minute, which was really important. Really happy to celebrate our first win like this in the Alpe Adria Cup.”

David Vötsch, player of Bulls: “We played very good defense today and also controlled the game with our offense game. I think we deserve this first win as a team because we really fought for 40 minutes straight.”

Teo Hojč, coach of Rytieri: “We came here missing players due to injuries and got into foul troubles really quick. The home team used that really well, congrats to them and good luck for the season to them.”

Dalibor Hlivák, player of Rytieri: “Tough game for us, we didn’t want to look like this. We couldn’t do it on offense or defense. In the first half, they scored too many points, and in the second half, we couldn’t control anything.”