Both Zalakerámia ZTE KK and BK Klosterneuburg Dukes had one win and loss in their group so far. Both teams won on home court, but lost away, so the question was who is going to get his second victory on Wednesday evening in Hungary.
The first basket of the game was a layup by former player of Hungarian team, Sopron KC, Edin Bavcic. ZTE’s Ukrainian shooter, Gliebov made the first three-pointer, but after that Klosterneuburg got the lead for a long while. The Austrians played really well in the first quarter. Blazevic hit his first three-pointer, followed by a dunk by Bavcic. Timur Bas hit another three, and in the last seconds of the first quarter, he had a layup, as well. The first period ended with his basket, the score was 20-28.
ZTE started the second period much better. Dustin Ware hit a three-pointer, and Zsolt Szabó was fouled while scoring a basket. Ware had an extra fastbreak, and Agafonov finished it with a layup. Coach Sallomon asked for a time-out, meanwhile Hungarian coach Tamás Bencze asked his team to make quick decisions. Agafonov equalised in the 13th minute of the game. ZTE’s defense got a bit better; however, in the last seconds of the first half, Dukes managed to cut the difference to two points before the half-time buzzer. The half-time score was 46-44.
ZTE opened the third quarter with two three-pointers, so they managed to make the difference up to 10 points for the first time during the game. However, Bosnian center Edin Bavcic played extra, he hit another three-pointer, but this time his opponent, Agafonov answered with a three, as well. ZTE scored 27 points under 10 minutes and had many easy baskets.
Hopfgartner had an easy dunk at the beginning of first quarter, but after a time-out, the Hungarians raised their lead to 10 points again. ZTE continued to dominate the game with a three-pointer by Szabó – that was his 4th out of 9 attempts, he scored 3 out of 4 in the second half. Just under 2 minutes remaining, ZTE had the chance to score 100 points. In the end, coach Bencze sent all his young Hungarians on court, so the fans started hailing ’Ria, ria Hungaria’, referring to the fact that there were only Hungarians playing for ZTE in the last minute. Martin Bagó managed to score a basket in the end, so ZTE won by 101-86.
ZTE executed the game well and won under the leadership of Thompson and Agafonov. The American guard scored 20 points and had 4 assists together with 5 rebounds and 2 steals in 28 minutes, while the Ukrainian center was great scoring 26 points, had 6 rebounds and 6 fouls against in 27 minutes after a little injury. Dmitro Gliebov, the other Ukrainian finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds, giving his best performance at ZTE so far. Zsolt Szabó, captain of the team, almost finished with a double-double, with just 1 rebound missing.
Edin Bavcic was the best of the Dukes, with 21 points and 9 rebounds. He was almost unstoppable under the basket.
ZTE won the game with well-deserved 15 points in the end.
Tamás Bencze, head coach of ZTE KK: “Our essential aim was to win this game, so we can be pleased with the victory. However, our young players could not really show their talent today, as unfortunately they did not play well. It could be the result of the lack of concentration by them.I had to send my starting five back to the court again and again in order to win the game. I’d like to thank our fans for their support, and want to congratulate our opponents, as they have a good team. At the weekend we have a very important away game, we would like to win there, as well.”
Dmytro Gliebov, player of ZTE KK: “First of all I’d like to congratulate my team, staff and fans. In the first half we didn’t play so well, due to our defense. In the locker room we decided to make a few changes and after that we had a lot of easy points and managed to win by 15.”
Damir Zeleznik, assistant coach of Dukes: “We played a very good first half against a very tough opponent. However, in the second half we played really badly defensively. Nevertheless, we could give opportunities to our young players, which was a great experience for them. They had the chance to play and to show what they can do. It was a nice game for us to play here in Zalaegerszeg, we really appreciate the amazing crowd.”
Jurica Blazevic, player of Dukes: “In the first quarter we played really well, after that we didn’t execute as well as before. In the second half we weren’t good enough at defense and that led to our losing the game.”