Czech Republic 82 vs. Poland 57


Czech Republic boss Michael Jezdik knows his team couldn't have gotten off to a better start following their resounding win over Poland.

The Czechs rolled to an 82-57 victory, with Ladislav Sokolovsky pouring in 22 points in Nymburk.

"We could not have started this qualification better. We were missing (Jiri) Welsch, (Lubos) Barton, (Jiri) Zidek and some others, so we decided to concentrate on the defence," said Jezdik.

A win was crucial for the Czechs, who will face more difficult opposition later in the group when they come up against France and Slovenia.

"My players have done it well and made a good job. Our defence was very good against the stars of Poland, (Andrzej) Pluta and (Eric) Elliot, and that was the most important thing."

"We had a lot of information about Poland, and we knew all their signals so we were able to respond. We conceded only 57 points and that is great. I did not expect us to be able to win by 25 points.

"We will play six games in 17 days so I am happy that I can use all my players. I said before we are a team without stars but on the other hand all the players are able to play for the team. That is to our advantage."

Jezdik's men will now travel to Metz to take on France on Saturday, and the coach believes the victory over Poland will stand them in good stead.

"We can go to France without being nervous. They are the favourites so we can only surprise them. They are more aggressive than Poland and they can play at a good tempo for the full 40 minutes."

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