Czechs Beat Spain And Head For 2003 Re-Match

10 September 2005

The Czech Republic held on to beat Spain 76-66 to set up a re-match of the 2003 EuroBasket showdown which saw them lose to Russia.

Just like two years ago, Jan Bobrovsky's team has reached the title game with an unblemished record in the competition.

The Czechs had to survive a nervous final two minutes against a resilient Spanish side which closed to within five points.

Czech Republic celebrate their place in the Final
Czech Republic celebrate their place in the Final
Victory appeared to be a certainty for the Czech Republic when they built a 16-point advantage late in the third quarter, but their opponents hit back for an interesting finish.

They pulled to within 69-64 with one minute and 33 seconds left to play after five consecutive points from Amaya Valdemoro.

However, guard Hana Machova stopped the bleeding converting her two free throws and the Czechs went onto clinch another famous win.

Machova led the winners with 18 points and also grabbed eight rebounds while Valdemoro had a game-high with 26 points.

Hana Machová (Czech Republic)
Hana Machová (Czech Republic)

A statistic that will haunt Domingo Diaz's team is the three-point shooting percentage. They were six of 23 from behind the arc (26%) while the Czechs were a far more efficient 10 out of 21 (47.6%).

While the Czechs go for gold against the Russians on Sunday, Spain must regroup for the bronze-medal game against Lithuania.

Spain won the bronze medal two years ago by beating Poland, however, they have lost to Lithuania once already in this month's EuroBasket.

They accomplished their main goal of FIBA World Championship for Women 2006 qualification by reaching the semi-finals, as the top five sides from the competition will travel to Brazil.

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