By David HeinDefending champions Czech Republic will be out for blood in their Group E qualifying round showdown with Lithuania after being upset by Germany at the 2007 EuroBasket Women.
The Czechs are still clearly in line to reach the quarter-finals with a 2-1 record, but the loss to Germany exposed holes in their armour which Jan Bobrovsky's team would like to patch
up right away.
|Iveta Marcauskaité is leading her team in scoring and rebounding.|
Lithuania meanwhile suffered yet another loss – this time to Latvia – but know their victory against Germany in the preliminary round may get them into the quarters.
Still, the 1997 title-winners are far from being title contenders the way they've played so far.
Last Time Out: The Czechs were shocked by Germany 54-47 while Lithunia were destroyed by Baltic neighbours Latvia 76-46.
Key Match-Up: Petra Kulichova vs Iveta Marcauskaite- The Lithuanian likes to play away from the basket offensively, and that may free up her team-mates from Kulichova's lost-post defense presence, which has seen her block 2.3 shots per game.
X-Factor: Jana Vesela- The Czech wing player was harrassed by the German defense into just 4-of-10 shooting and six turnovers. Look for the Gambrinus Brno star to bounce back in style.
Key Stats: After shooting 49%, 44 % and 48% in their first three games, the Czechs were held to a frustrating 30% against Germany.
Sounding Off: Czech coach Bobrovsky said- "The Lithuanians are not as weak as the result against Latvia might suggest. Our problem will be to get the players back on the right track after the German shock.”