Bounce Back

06.10.2007

By Yarone Arbel

There's nothing more difficult for a team used to winning than to get up for a game they know will not get them a medal.

Czech Republic played in the finals in the last two EuroBaskets, but suddenly find themselves in a classification game, uncharted territory for most of the players on that squad.

Ann Wauters (Belgium)
The last time Wauters and Belgium faced the Czechs she had a big game in a close loss.
The classification games are a totally different mind set and the big test for the Czechs will be to get into the right mood.

They had one more day to recover from the shocking loss to Belarus, so that might be on their side.

The teams met just a few days ago in the qualification round.

Czech won that game in the last minutes 72-70 after Belgium held a strong lead for much of the game.

For Belgium it's good news as they already proved to themselves that they can match up with the Czechs and will have no fear in their eyes taking the court.

Last Result: The former champs were shocked by Belarus 52-46 while Belgium suffered the biggest quarter-finals loss with a 19 point thrashing at the hands of Spain 72-53.

Key Matchup: Ann Wauters against Eva Viteckova is surely one of the best match ups this tournament has to offer. When they met four days ago Wauters had 22 points and 12 rebounds but Viteckova matched her with 22 points of her own.

X-Factor: Kathy Wambe gave a great performance against the Czechs. With 13 points, seven assists and four rebounds she was exactly the extra hand Wauters needed. A better day from the line though could have made the difference. Now she'll have a chance to make up for it.

Key Stat: Belgium is the second best team in steals in the competition while the Czechs tend to turn it over. If Belgium makes a lot of easy points off those steals Czech Republic will be in trouble.

What Does it Mean?: The winner will keep the Olympics dream alive with the fight for fifth place the following day, while the loser will have nothing but pride to fight for in attempt to win the seventh place.


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