Czechs Secure Fifth Spot

07.10.2007

By Yarone Arbel

The last team to get the ticket for the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament is the Czech Republic.

The former champs easily beat Lithuania in the classification game for fifth place 93-54 and finished the tournament with two wins in a row.

Five players scored in double-digits for the Czechs.
 
Eva Viteckova led the list with 16 points, Hana Machova added 14, Michaela Uhrova and Petra Kulichova scored 13 each and the young Katerina Elhotova came off the bench in the

I didn't expect that we would have such an advantage going into the break but it was great for us.
Hana Machova
Czech Republic
last quarter to score 10.

"We are extremely happy to be able to play in the pre-Olympic tournament," said Machova.

"We knew this game was crucial for both teams and I think we played well from the start.

"I didn't expect that we would have such an advantage going into the break but it was great for us.

"We are a different team to the team that won this tournament two years ago. We are a young team and we have room for improvement."

Egle Suilciute was the only player in Lithuania to reach double-digits with 10.

The Czechs had absolute control of the game and the final score was also their maximum lead.

They connected on 12 three-pointers on 54.5% shooting against Lithuania's four long range shots at 22.2%.

The Czechs also forced 22 turnovers while losing the ball only 11 times and dishing 23 assists compare to four for their opponents.

Their control of the game started early, as the game was really never in doubt.

Lithuania took a 4-3 lead but that was the last time they looked at their opponent from above.

The team of coach Jan Bobrovsky answered with an 18-2 run that changed the face of the game.

The margin kept growing by the minute and the Czechs scored at will.

Machova was leading the run of her team.

She scored all her 14 points in the first half without missing even a single shot, with four of those shots coming from long range.

It was enough for the Czech team to take a 49-18 lead at half time.

Vita Kuktiene of Lithuania scored the first long range shot for her team early in the third, but that didn't make any difference.

In the last quarter Coach Bobrovsky gave his bench players a chance to say a final goodbye to EuroBasket 2007.

Elhotova, who will celebrate her 18th birthday only next week, set her tournament high by connecting 10 points on 66% shooting from the field in the last 7:30 minutes of the game.


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