Czechs Slip Past Hosts

17.08.2008

The hosts from Italy faced the group winners from Czech Republic in the last game of the Preliminary Round in Group A.

The game had no influence on the final standings as Italy held no chance to climb from the floor of the group, while the Czechs already secured the roof, but no team was willing to give up easily.

Nevertheless the tension and pressure were felt in every second before the Czech Republic won 58-57.

With this win the Czechs climbed to 3-0 and will start the next round with two wins, while Italy dropped to 0-3 and will play the 13-16 Classification games to survive in Division A.

David Hrncir was the top scorer of the winners with 11 points despite he played less than 16 minutes before he fouled out. Milan Ryska added seven points and 11 rebounds.

Sizzichini was the only player in Italy in double-digits when he scored ten.

"We used several bench players and allowed our main guys to rest a little today, because the game didn't matter for the standings," said the Head Coach of the winning side, Peter Balint.

"Obviously we like to win and always enjoy winning so when we fought our best to get it."

The Czechs took the first lead but after eight points in a row Italy stood on top. Hrncir played tough from the start to give his team a 17-15 lead after ten minutes.

The teams remained close as Tommaso Ingrosso on one side and Vaclev Honomichi on the other exchanged points to reach the half finish line with Czech leading 33-30.

The squad from Prague dominated the boards and climbed to a double-digit margin late in the third, and even after Hrncir fouled out they stepped into the fourth up 49-40.

Italy started the fourth with two half court steals on the way to two easy baskets, forcing a time out by the Czechs.

The Czechs found a busy and crowded defense in the paint and when their shots from outside didn't go through the locals made it just a single point game, 52-51.

With the momentum in their back Italy kept the aggressive defense on and when Sizzichini hit from long range Italy finally held a two point lead, 55-57.

Czech scratched three difficult points but seconds were still on the clock.

Italy searched for the miracle but missed twice and kept the Czech team perfect.  


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