Brno and Gdynia both went into today's EuroLeague Women game knowing that the winner would take a significant step towards the play-offs. Both clubs had identical 7-4 records before the game.
Gdynia hit for 4 quick points, but Brno returned after a 3-pointer from Romana Hamzova to a 5:4-lead. The stakes were definitely high for all the players, which was shown later on, as both teams struggled to find their rhythm. Gdynia were also handicapped by early foul trouble on star center Margot Dydek, as she picked up 3 early fouls.
At the end of the first quarter, Eva Viteckova shot 2 three-pointers and Brno led by five, 25:20. The best players of Gdynia were their two Americans, Elaine Powell and Chasity Melvin. Both played very well on offense and Melvin dominated on the boards.
But Brno also played well on defense and at half-time, the result looked quite promising for the locals: 38:31.
Gdynia worked their way back into the game in the 3rd quarter, scoring 8 points and taking control. Brno struggled with their scoring and it wasn't until 5 minutes into the quarter that Alena Kovacova hit their first points. The home team's troubles were increased when Ivana Vecerova fouled out.
Despite all these setbacks, Brno returned and earned an 8-point advantage (52:44) in minute 29. Gdynia faced trouble of their own when Dydek also fouled out, but got inspiration from the outside in the form of point guard Limor Mizrachi.
The Israeli national team captain hit 2 three-pointers and took the lead. 3 successful free throws from Brno tied the game, but Gdynia would have the last say. It came through Russian center Natalia Vodopyanova, whose final basket was the decider in Gdynia's vital win.
MVP of the game: Elaine Powell (Gdynia) with 18 points
Jan Bobrovsky, Head Coach, Gambrinus JME Brno:
"Very bad performances in the beginning of the second period were decisive in our defeat. Our pivots played very bad, Rankica Sarenac didn´t shoot any point, Cintia Dos Santos only 2 and Alena Kovacova 7 points. We were not able to win the game with performances like these."
Krzysztof Koziorowicz, Head Coach, Lotos VBW Clima Gdynia:
"We played very good in defense in the second period and had very good offensive rebounds. I was a little bit wondering when I read the result five minutes ago, because we played without our best player Malgorzata Dydek. It is a big success to win in Brno."