Previously when the two teams first played against each other in the quaterfinals in Prague, it was USK Praha who managed to defend homecourt and gain an advantage of 8 points. If the hosts would like to qualify for the semi-finals they have to defeat the visitors by at least 9 points during the decisive second match tonight.
The game started with the visitors 3 point jump shot by Mares but soon afterwards Hammonds answered with a lay-up. At the beginning of this period a tied game could be seen. Both teams showed a very strong play throughout the whole period. The leading position changed several times, but finally it was the hosts who scored the greater number of points.
The second quarter was opened with Csorvási’s free throws, which was follwed by a 9-3 point run when Körmend had their first 10-point lead with Price’s shot from behind the arc. The home team showed a more concentrated play in this quarter and continued their strong play. Although Praha tried hard to come back into game they were not able to chip away at the lead. Körmend were in the game all the way through in this period and did not let the visitors tie the game anymore. The home team went into halftime carrying an 18 point lead.
After the halftime break Körmend carried on their energetic play while Praha made many mistakes and they seemed to lose their rhythm and control over the game. The whole period was controlled by the home team. In the last minute with Ferencz’s 3 point jump shot the hosts led by 30 points. This quarter ended 67:40.
In the last quarter Körmend carried on dominating the game and Praha did not have any chance to catch up with the unstoppable hosts. Zollner gave an opportunity to young players to show their play on court. The hosts had the game under control and took revenge for the loss in Prague. Finally the game ended with the victory of Egis Körmend who is the first semifinalist in the Alpe Adria Cup in this season.
It was a good game for T.J Price who led Egis Körmend to the semi-finals by scoring 23 points in 24 minutes on the court.
Matthias Zollner, head coach of Körmend: “We expect a very difficult game because we face an opponent who was very good prepared in our first meeting. I think we had a little bit of advantage in terms of experience like coach Repesa said they are very young team. So I think we had this experience and in this tough situations like this game experience is always a key factor. However I am very satisfied how we entered this challenge. Because we all know we did not play well in the last couple of weeks. Not only in the AAC but also in the Hungarian league we had one tough loss also last weekend. Where we played overtime. We have a little bit problem with our confidence in the last couple of games today you can also see how we miss a couple of easy layups. So for us it was very good to have a good game to show that we can play good defense and we can play together and we can get our confidence back. Like Mátyás said now our focus is on Kecskemét on Friday and this will be a very tough game again on the road and we want also in the Hungarina league to come back on the winning tracks. Thank you very much. And I wish the guest team and for coach Repesa good drive home.”
Kiss Mátyás, player of Körmend: “I think we played a really good game. In the first half we had a lot of turnovers and we could not find the right way to play. In the second half Praha changed to zone defense and it was difficult at the beginning to manage our plays from long distance. Then we were able to make eleven 3 pointers that seems to be good and we made them with very good accuracy. Congratulations to the team and we are preparing for our next game in the championship against Kecskemét.”
Dino Repesa, head coach of Praha: “Congratulations to Körmend. To coach Zollner and to his team. They came very prepared and not to just win the game but to be to the site to show who is the hometeam and who is the awayteam. Unfortunately in the warning I made to my players before the game that they make many offensive boards and they try to overrun us, make easy transition points. I can not say that they did not listen to it but we did not achieve to it. Does not matter. Responsibilty one on one individually was terrible but again the thing that bothers me the most is that players do not get too many chance in their life especially the young players. For the team like we have every minute or second has to be a chance. There is no garbage time in my team. Every player is young player in my team. Each player has to deserve that minute because who knows that in the next tight game or in any game some players get minutes. I wish to coach Zollner and to Körmend good luck and I think they can win this competition.”
Jakub Tuma, player of Praha: “We were focusing on the start of the game. It went good but I think that we could not guard the opponents on one on one. Especially in transition. So we had to use zone defense. I think we quit at the end of the game and it was all.”