Czech Run Continues

20.08.2008

The Cinderella of the Termostep U16 European Championship Men from Prague continued their amazing run with a surprising 66-61 win over Spain to make it to the top four of the competition.

The win means both Czech Republic and Lithuania qualified already today to the semi-finals.

Their encounter tomorrow will only decide the first place in the group.

The team from Prague is still unbeatable in the competition and for the fourth time it came after a hard nosed battle.

A lot of happy faces and very few words were on the Czech bench that hopes not to be awoken from this dreamy performance.

Jaromir Bohacik was the top scorer of the winning side with 16 points and six rebounds, Tomas Vyoral scored 13 points including some clutch shots, Jan Svejda contributed 12 and Milan Ryska added another big double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds,

Spain got 12 points from Joan Creus, following were Miguel Servera with ten and nine rebounds while Alejandro Igual added ten as well.

"This is an unbelievable thing we have made. We are all so-so happy and can't really explain what has happened," said the smiling coach Peter Balint.

"We kept fighting the whole game, hit clutch shots and played good defense to win this game.

"Spain is a very good team, but we showed we have big heart."

The lead changed hands no less than seven times and the score was tied seven times as well.

No team was willing to leave behind any drop of energy.

Both sides fought for 40 minutes. The Czechs wanted to make the unthinkable while Spain couldn't afford to miss the spot in the top four.

At the finish line both teams were exhausted but the Czechs proved they have the character to step up and hit the big shots when it matters.

BohacĂ­k scored eight points in a row at the end of the first quarter to make it 21-13.

Crues led Spain back with 12 unanswered points to take the lead and Farina's great athletic skills led to a big dunk and a 33-26 difference deep in the first half.

Servera already set the gap on nine, but Bohacik once again stepped up as the Czechs connected twice from long range to be back in the game, and enter the last quarter down just by four, 48-44.

In less than two minutes the squad from Prague took the lead with a 7-1 run, but Spain didn't give up yet.

Crues scored a corner three pointer with 2:48 to play to make it 58-57 but Vyoral hit back with two big time shots.

The later of them, with the shot clock about to expire and pressure on his shot, made it 63-58 with 57 ticks on the game clock.

"It was a tough shot, but I had to take it since the shot clock was about to expire," he said.

"I hoped it will go in and when it did...I have no words to describe the feeling."

Spain never put the win in danger.

Bohacik showed his presence on defense with a big steal less than 30 seconds to play that secured the win and the spot among the top four teams in Europe.

Czech Republic will face Lithuania tomorrow while Spain would play Greece, in hope to avoid the 9-12 games.


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