Gambrinus Hopes To Satisfy Home Fans

04 April 2008

Experience, continuity and talent are why Gambrinus Brno have been wreaking havoc on the competition for several years now.

Add to those important qualities the fact that this year's Gambrinus is battle-tested, and again playing in front of its own fans at the EuroLeague Women Final Four, and the Czech Republic may have a second European title to celebrate in three years by the time the final buzzer sounds on April 13.

Eva Vitecková (Gambrinus Sika Brno)
Vitecková has been a key player in Gambrinus' run to the Final Four.
The Russian teams are so stocked with international talent that a lot of people seem to have forgotten about Gambrinus.

The Czech outfit finished second in their Qualifying Round group with eight wins and two defeats, with first-place Spartak Moscow Region the only side to beat them.

They followed that up with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over MiZo Pecs, an Eighth-Finals series triumph that was aided by a leg injury suffered by Pecs' long-time point guard Dalma Ivanyi.

She was a non-factor in Game Three, and Gambrinus stormed into a Quarter-Final against Ros Casares.

Jan Bobrovsky's team then went up against the Spanish juggernauts and despite losing a very close opener in Valencia, hit back to win the remaining two games, including the decider at La Fonteta.

Led by the veteran coach Bobrovsky, the Gambrinus players know what it takes to win.

Many of them captured the EuroBasket Women crown in Turkey in 2005, and defeated CSKA Moscow in the EuroLeague Women title game in the season that followed.

Slovakian Zuzana Zirkova has led the team in scoring this season at 14.4 points per game, while Eva Viteckova has been lethal shooting the ball.

She has averaged 10.6 points per game and drilled a very good 41.4% (24 of 58) from three-point range, numbers that saw her make the All Star Game for a second straight year.

While Machova, Ivana Vecerova and Jana Vesela have been their excellent selves, there is no doubting the positive impact of the foreign players like Tamika Whitmore and Hamchetou Maga.

American Whitmore, who was terrific in last year's title win for EuroLeague title win for Spartak Moscow Region, is also pouring in 10.6 points per contest in Europe while African Maga scored 9.9 points.

Offensively, the team has as much balance as any of the teams that are in the EuroLeague Final Four. And they rebound extremely well. Their 38.1 per game is third best in competition behind Spartak and UMMC Ekaterinburg.

Bourges will be extremely difficult opponents to beat in the semi-final, but Gambrinus will be confident that home support and a great team gives them a fantastic chance to win.

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