Czech Us Out

23.08.2008

History showed its face in Pescara, Italy as the Czech Republic made it to the finals of the Termosteps U16 European Championship Men after a 69-64 win over Turkey in overtime.

The Czech Republic will play the winner between Lithuania and France.

This is the first finals ever in the history of the Czech basketball, and tomorrow night they will get the first ever medals for their country.

Enes Kanter (Turkey)
Enes Kanter had yet another huge game for Turkey but it was not enough.
One win away from the gold, they are in seventh heaven.

To stand outside the locker room of the Czech team to hear their celebrations, at times it felt like you could hear them all the way to Prague.

The young magicians of Head Coach Peter Balint shocked Turkey after leading almost the entire game.

Like all of the Czech wins so far they have made it in the clutch, for the first time in overtime, but once again by no more than five point difference.

Like in any other big win of the Czechs here it was a new player who stepped up to bring the win.

Today it was Jan Svejda who was the star with no less than 27 points on 10 out of 15 shooting from the field.

Coming to this game Svejda had averaged a little over four points per game in the competition.

"We have a team in which any player can step up, and it makes us more dangerous I think," said the happy coach.

"We made very good defensive job today," he added.

"I told my players I don't care how much Enes Kanter will score. He won't beat us alone. I wanted to stop the others, and with great discipline we executed the plan."

It was close to impossible to see a Czech without a smiling face after the game was long over ago.

Kanter wrote 25 points and 21 rebounds but long after him was Burak Yuksel with 11 points.

The big Turk was very tired down the stretch as he rested only few seconds the entire game.

Milan Ryska, who didn't rest for a second today, added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the winning side in addition to a great match up to Kanter.

"After we made it to the semi-finals we lost big time against Lithuania, maybe a little because we were

Peter Balint (Czech Republic Coach)
Peter Balint knew Kanter would get his points so he focused on shutting down the rest of Turkey's offense.
mentally not calmed down yet," said Balint.

"I told my players in the locker-room after the win that we must calm down quickly because we still need to win tomorrow against whoever it may be."

The Czechs also showed great mental strength connecting 14 out of 17 free throws in such a thrilling and mind-breaking game.

None of their last eight shots from the charity stripe sneaked out, including the two to force over time and six in overtime to secure the win.

Things weren't pink for the Czechs from the first moment.

It took them more than four minutes to get on the board and by then Turkey already had a seven point lead.

Nevertheless Svejda showed what is expected to come and carried his team on a 9-0 run to finish the first quarter up 15-11.

Turkey grabbed the lead back but soon Ryska and Svejda again stepped up to lead their team to a 32-26 half time margin.

From there Turkey was back on top, only close to the final buzzer but never allowed the Czech to get too far ahead.

The Czechs wrote their biggest lead, 48-41, early in the fourth, and witha little more than four minutes in the game they were still seven points up but then the giant Turk took over.

He scored four in a row and with 56 seconds to play Kevin Kaspar hit from long range to tie the score at 54-54.

Following was a big tip in by the center to put Turkey on top again, 56-54, but Kaspar fouled even before the clock moved and Tomas Vyoral tied the game from the line with 15 seconds to play.

Kaspar took the game on his shoulders but missed and the teams went to overtime.

Kanter once again gave Turkey the lead but Svejda hit from long range to start another 7-0 run, enough to enter the last minute up by there.

With 19 seconds to play Kanter went for the line, but hit just one while on the other side Svejda showed how to make it done, and David Hrncir secured the finals pass with six seconds on the clock.


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