Czechs Put Up Brave Fight

18.08.2007

Czech Republic went close to causing a huge upset as they were beaten 83-80 by Russia in an international tournament in Paris on Friday.

The Czechs led by 12 points at the start of the final quarter but some sloppy play let a Russian side containing the likes of Andrei Kirilenko, Aleksey Savrasenko and Anton Ponkrasov fight back for the win.

Lubos Barton top-scored for the Czechs with 19 points and was well supported by Jiri Welsch who contributed 18.

"I am very disappointed," Czech coach Zdenek Hummel told www.basket.idnes.cz.

"We were very close to beating such a  strong team like Russia has here in Paris. I  have never been so close to beating Russia in my coaching career.

"We lost our concentration in the last quarter and that is why we lost today. We played great basketball in the first three quarters and that is a big encouragement.

"We made many bad mistakes in the fourth quarter which we cannot afford to make in the EuroBasket."

Hummel's men will play France on Saturday in their second game of the tournament and round off against Portugal on Sunday.

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