In its third EuroLeague appearance Delta hosted Sporting Athens from Greece. The players from Kosice started the game with one goal: to claim their first ever victory in the EuroLeague.
Kosice started with confidence. Within three minutes they jumped out to a 9:0 start. Their zone defense was very effective against Sporting. But it lasted only until Donneka Hogdes started shooting. In the first quarter the American shooting guard scored half of her team’s points. After 10 minutes Athens led 20:18.
Surprisingly nervous performances came from Kosice's usually reliable players. So already in the 11th minute four bench players were out on the field. From the starting five only captain Jendrichovska remained. She managed to keep her team in the game with big points. In the last minute of the quarter Dimitra Kalentzou hit tweo baskets to give the Grreek side a two-point-lead at the half (36:34).
Hard defense of the away team was also causing trouble for the players from Kosice in the 3rd quarter. On top of that they were unneccessarily losing the ball and had a poor scoring ratio. Still after 30 minutes Kosice took the lead thanks to Timkova – 46:45.
But after this there was a 10-point-streak of Sporting – 57:47. The sold-out gym came back to life when Delta lowered Athens lead to 56:60. But in the closing stages Delta made crucial mistakes and Athens took the game away.
Athens scored a well deserved first victory in the group in Kosice. They defeated Delta 68:63.
Vladimir Karnay, Head Coach Delta ICP Kosice:
"The Vast majority of my players were not in this game from the psychological point. We disappointed not only on defense, but also in our offensive activities. Scoring 63 points is not enough. We were unable to score even from the easiest situations."
Hanka Jendrichovska, Delta ICP Kosice:
"I am very disappointed. We were hoping for the first historic victory in the EuroLeague. As soon as the opponent caught up, they did not let us into the game anymore. The majority of our players did not deliver even an average performace."
Tolias Niokolaos, head Coach, Sporting Athens:
"We are a young team, we are happy with our performance, I am in the position of a coach here for only 10 days. But like in our league, we delivered a good performace and now we are happy."
Theofano Roidou, Sporting Athens:
"In spite that we are a young team, the expectations are great. We knew that Delta has a good team, but we prepared ourselves very well."