Every year at MiZo Pecs, there is that one constant. Her name is Dalma Ivanyi.
How long has she been running up and down the floor with this well-known Hungarian club? In Europe, she played on the team that took part in the 1995 Ronchetti Cup.
Ivanyi, a Hungarian international and a EuroLeague Women All Star, routinely comes up with the big plays for the Pecs team, be it with her scoring, assists, rebounds or defense.
A point guard in the truest sense, MiZo are more potent when Ivanyi is on the floor because she makes her teammates better.
She and MiZo Pecs have reached the EuroLeague Women Eighth-Finals and will take on Gambrinus Brno.
Ivanyi, 31, spoke to FIBA Europe this week.
FIBA Europe: Dalma, another fine season in the EuroLeague already with MiZo Pecs. You have reached the eighth-finals again. What are your thoughts on MiZo Pecs' performance so far in the competition?
|“||I think we have some inexperienced teams in the league but so far, everyone has done a good job. I think it's a positive thing to involve more teams, and get teams from each country to play in the competition.||„|
Dalma Ivanyi: "I think at the beginning of the season we knew we had a new team, we had young players, so our expectations were to play each game as best as possible. We did that in our group, we surprised ourselves by winning in Vilnius and in Mondeville. We are very satified but we know we have a lot of work left to do as the competition gets tougher."
FIBA Europe: Having played Ros Casares twice, do you think they could have the best team in the competition since they won all 10 of their games in Group D?
Dalma Ivanyi: "It's hard to say, we haven't played against the three Russian teams. Ros Casares are one of my nominees to win the EuroLeague alongside Spartak and CSKA Moscow. Maybe another team will be the surprise package. Ros Casares have great individual players, with experience in the competition and I think they definitely have a chance."
FIBA Europe: The EuroLeague Women expanded to include more teams this season. Has the tournament been better because of this?
Dalma Ivanyi: "I think we have some inexperienced teams in the league but so far, everyone has done a good job. I think it's a positive thing to involve more teams, and get teams from each country to play in the competition. It's a good level of competition but we must pay attention that the level continues to be a high one. It takes between one and three years for the new teams to adapt to the EuroLeague if they are coming from the EuroCup. But I definitely like the idea of giving an opportunity to new teams to play at this level and for other players to have a chance to play against the best."
FIBA Europe: What were your thoughts on the new EuroLeague Women record crowd of more than 7,000 fans to turn up and watch the game at the Ice Hockey Arena in Kosice, the contest between Spartak Moscow Region and Kosit 2013? MiZo did own the record of more than 5,000 before that game.
Dalma Ivanyi: "It was really good and I was very happy to hear about it. In Pecs, we have a really nice crowd at every game and I know how much this means for our team but also for our opponents. To play in a packed arena gives the players a big boost in comparison to playing in an empty gym. Step by step, we are heading there. Women's basketball is exciting and it's very good fun and fans get to see nice games. It's important to have more teams in the EuroLeague because of this, too. Not always the best teams have the bigger crowds."
FIBA Europe: How difficult do you anticipate your eighth-finals series to be against Gambrinus Sika Brno and what is it about their team that you will have to pay close attention to if you want to beat them?
|Anna Vajda is one of the key contributors to MiZo Pécs 2010 successes this season|
Dalma Ivanyi: "I think it's going to be tough. Brno have homecourt advantage and have eight or nine players on the same level, so they can change the roster. They play a physical game, they run, they have a strong defense and we have to match their energy and aggressiveness. If we can do that, then that will be half of our success. Brno have great shooters and they can penetrate. It's going to be a mental game and we cannot be afraid of them. We have to box out, stop their fast breaks and be creative in our offense. We must have self-confidence and be brave, especially our young players cannot be intimidated they must play their game. I believe we can play a nice game and then have luck and get our shots in. Brno are favourite but who knows, we might be able to surprise ourselves, surprise our fans and surprise the basketball world."
FIBA Europe: Qualifying games for the EuroBasket Women will be held later this year. You will obviously play for Hungary. Is the situation with the national team good right now, and might we see Hungary qualify for the final round?
Dalma Ivanyi: "That is our plan. We are going to start buiding a new team, bringing in younger players. I don't know how tough the competition will be as the groups haven't been selected. We missed the last two European Championships and there's a really big desire for everyone to qualify and to get back to the top level."
FIBA Europe: Dalma, it's been a pleasure. Thanks for the chat and good luck.
Dalma Ivanyi: "My pleasure."