Sopron welcomed EuroLeague Ukrainian side Kozachka-Zalk to Hungary for tonight's preliminary round game. Sopron have made the EuroLeague play-offs for the past five years straight, while Kozachka-Zalk are in their first season at this level.
Nonetheless, Sopron were not expecting as easy night from a Kozachka-Zalk team that contains no less than 9 Ukrainian international players.
Sopron controlled the game from the first minute. Their defense was perfect, and they played wonderful offense. So it wasn't a surprise, that after 8 minutes Sopron led by 11 points.
Sopron started the second quarter well, too. Ivana Matovic (11 points and 5 rebounds) collected her 3rd foul at the 14th minute and had to sit down. Without Matovic, Sopron began to struggle and Kozachka-Zalk worked their way back into contention
After the half-time the speed of the game was still high. Both teams battled very well and offensively the gam was played at a very high level.
Gordana Kovacevic was the key player for Sopron. She made a lot of important points, when Kozachka tried to come closer to Sopron.
In the first minutes of the 4th quarter Sopron decided the game. They had a lead by 17 points and managed to bring the advantage home.
Kovaceic was selected game MVP and finished with 23 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Natalia Hejkova, Head Coach, MKB Euroleasing Sopron:
"I knew that it will be a strong game. It was hard to play against this tall team. We made some stupid mistakes also, but the most important thing, that we won this game."
Yuriy Veligura, Head Coach, Kozachka-Zalk:
"Congratulations to Sopron, they played better than we did. Whenever we had the possibility to close in on Sopron, Gordana Kovacevic always scored important points."
Gordana Kovacevic, MKB Euroleasing Sopron:
"It was a hard game. We didn't play as well as last time. In the second quarter we lost the rhythm. We have to play faster against tall teams. But the most important thing is that we won."