Margo Dydek's decision to return to Gdynia paid off dividends for the Polish champions in the first EuroLeague Women match of the season. Dydek's 27 points, 17 rebounds and 6 blocks paced Gdynia to an 87-75 win over Belgian club Dexia Namur.
Although it is their first season in the ÉuroLeague, Dexia have shown that they belong. They opened the competition with a win against Vojvodina and started out strong against Gdynia, last year's finalists.
|Margo Dydek had 27 points, 17 rebounds and 6 blocks against Dexia|
Dexia almost ran Gdynia off the floor in the opening quarter with their fastbreak style. Dexia's Krystyna Szymanska (a European Championship silver medallist with Poland in 1999) did most of the damage as she accumulated 14 first quarter points.
The first quarter barrage was part of Dexia's strategy.
"We knew that if we don't make a quick start we would be in trouble later in the game" - said Dexia's coach Martens about the first quarter.
Trailing 16-24 after 10 minutes, Gdynia managed to tie the game at 26 late in the second quarter. Szymanska managed just two second quarter points, while at halftime Dydek already had 12 points and 8 rebounds in what was a furious paced game.
It was clear that neither Dydek nor Szymanska could win the game single-handedly and in the end it was Dydek who got more help from her team-mates.
They were able to build an 11-point lead by the end of the third quarter and had the game well under control in the final 10 minutes.
Bobby Martens, Head Coach, Dexia Namur:
"First of all I would like to congratulate Lotos Gdynia for the victory. We came here and played without any fear because we had nothing to loose and we had everything to win. In the first quarter we played what we need to play against such a great team. I knew if we had problems in the first minutes we could have lost it by many points. So we won this quarter and this helped us a lot.
We are not yet strong enough to play an entire game like we played the first ten minutes, Our American players are just about two weeks with us and I am sure we will become stronger and stronger each game.
The most important reasons we lost the game were: the second quarter which we lost 27:14, an unstoppable Margo Dydek and our poor 2-point shooting effiecieny. Even with Margo Dydek playing such a good game we could fight for the victory if we only got much higher 2-point shot efficiency."
Krzysztof Koziorowicz, Head Coach, Lotos Gdynia:
"We won the game against a tough rival. This game confirms my opinion that there are no weak teams in the EuroLeague. We had many problems in finding good shooting positions especially early in the game beacause of Dexia's hard defence. Later it seemed like they were a little bit tired so we controlled the result to the end. My team is very young and we still need some time to play better."