By David HeinDefending champions Czech Republic look to remain perfect at the 2007 EuroBasket Women as they take on Germany to start their Group E qualifying round in Vasto.
The 2005 winners were hardly challenged in Group A, winning their three games by an average of 27 points.
The Germans have shown they have some talented players, but they've also demonstrated
a vast lack of big-game experience which has hurt them in closing off close games.
|Linda Fröhlich is Germany's most experienced player and will need to provide leadership.|
Last Time Out: The Czechs dominated Latvia 70-44 to move to 3-0 while Germany dropped their second straight game in a 71-57 loss to Lithuania.
Key Match-Up: Martina Weber vs Petra Kulichova: The Czech center has averaged 9.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 2.0 blocks in just 24 minutes of action. And her low-post presence has allowed the rest of her team-mates to take risks on defense which has led the Czechs to holding teams thus far to shooting percentages of 26% (Israel), 34% (Turkey) and 29% (Latvia).
X-Factor: Linda Fröhlich: Germany will undoubtedly get top-level production from their top star. But crucial for the Germans chances is how much leadership the WNBA player can give her inexperienced team-mates.
Stats: After opening their tournament with a 13-of-25 (52%) three-point barage against Romania, Germany's long-range bombers made just 5-of-23 (22%) combined in their losses to Belgium and Lithuania.
Sounding Off: Germany coach Imre Szittya: "We have three games now and we want to win two of them. It doesn't matter if it's Czech Republic, Turkey or Latvia. If we beat the Czechs, great. We just want to qualify for the final eight."