Lotos Gdynia are on track to make their 3rd EuroLeague Final Four in 4 seasons after beating Hungarian side Sopron on Friday night.
Gdynia can count on some of the best fan support in Europe and many of their loyal followers made the trip to Sopron. They got to see a game which may not have been of the highest quality, but with exactly the result they were looking for.
|Gdynia can count on some of the most vociferous fans in Europe|
Defense was the overwhelming factor in the first half as Gdynia in particular struggled to put the ball in the basket. The second quarter was disastrous for the visitors and they put just 4 points on the board.
Sopron were not much better, but redeemed themselves in the final 6 minutes when they outscored Gdynia 13-0. Ivana Matovic's 3-pointer at the buzzer sealed a great period of play for Sopron and they went into halftime leading 31-24.
With their backs to the wall, Gdynia stepped up a notch in the second half.
The Polish side opened the third period with a 9-0 run and it was Agnieszka Bibrzycka leading the surge. Gdynia's new found energy proved too difficult for Sopron to match and the visitors steadily increased their advantage until they were out of reach.
Bibrzycka scored a game high 22 points on 8/13 shooting (4/5 three-pointers) and centers Margo Dydek and Ewelina Kobryn added 15 points each.
Sopron's Lucie Blahuskova finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Natalia Hejkova, Sopron Coach:
"Congratulations to Gdynia and good luck for the Quarter-Finals! I'm sad, but not angry. In the first half we showed how good we can play. But in the second half we lost power. We tried everything, but it wasn't enough against a great team like Gdynia."
Katarzyna Dydek, Gdynia Assistant Coach:
"We were tired, but we shot well and didn't turn the ball over. In the team everybody played well and Agnieszka Bibrzycka was a really top player in this game. Both teams played well, it was a good game for the fans. Sopron played with a lot of young players, the future is theirs."
Lucie Blahuskova, Sopron:
"It's hard to say anything after this game. We made a lot of bad shots, so we couldn't win. Congratulations to Gdynia!"
Ewelina Kobryn, Gdynia:
"I'm very happy. It was a hard game, but we won with our great defense in the second half."