Pavlickova Makes Impact For Czechs

06.09.2005

Czech Republic forward Michaela Pavlickova isn't interested in swimming at the hotel pool, and she is not swept away by visiting a bazaar either.

While on national team duty with her country at the EuroBasket in Turkey, the 27-year-old Pavlickova is only interested in basketball.

"We went for a walk to the bazaar," Pavlickova said of her day off at the tournament.

"I walked with Zuzana Klimesova but it was not very interesting so we went back to our hotel after 90 minutes."

Michaela Pavlickov√° (Czech Republic)
Pavlickov√° is averaging 12 ppg for Czech Republic
She is enthusiastic about doing her best for her country, though, and that's the only thing that matters for the Czech Republic as they take aim at the EuroBasket gold which eluded their grasp two years ago in a heartbreaking final defeat to Russia.

The Czechs, even without the 2003 tournament's MVP Lucie Blahushkova, have so far been the best at this year's tournament in Turkey.

Pavlickova has been scoring points and grabbing rebounds in abundance to help the Czechs defeat France, Poland and Greece.

The 1.90m forward was asked how she had been able to lead the team in scoring against the Poles and Greeks.

"I do not know, but it is not important," she said.

"The best scorer could be many girls. Our team is good."

The Czech Republic have been a hard team to figure out in recent years. No one thought they would go unbeaten in 2003 to reach the final, but then when expectations were high at the Olympics, they only just reached the quarter-finals before losing to Russia 70-49.

With the expectations lowered this summer again, they have turned up in Turkey and been the in-form side.

Their most impressive win came in the opener against France, when they rolled to a 65-45 triumph.

"The first game was very important and France was the strongest opponent in our group," she said.

"We wanted to show that we prepared well for this Championship."

Other than the missing Blahushkova, the Czech side has a very familiar look to the one that played in Greece in 2003.

That continuity helped the Czechs, who are already assured of a place in the quarter-final round.

"We have a very good mood in our team and we like each other," Pavlickova said.

"We want to win the next two games in our group to finish in first place. Our aim is a medal. We want to play in the final."

And if they get to the final, would they finally be able to defeat Russia? Pavlickova thinks so, especially with the Spanish having proven already the Russians are beatable.

Amaya Valdemoro and Co edged Russia in overtime on Sunday.

"I did not see that game on TV but we played Russia two weeks ago and they are not as strong as before," Pavlickova said to www.basket.idnes.cz.

"It is possible to beat them."


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