Austria: Gmunden Set For Title Showdown

16 May 2006

Basket Swans Gmunden's domestic dominance will be on the line when they face Austrian Cup winners WBC Kraftwerk Wels in the finals of the OBL on Sunday.

The defending champions, who finished last in their EuroCup group, eased their way into the best-of-five series following a comprehensive sweep of Arkadia Traiskirchen Lions, while Wels saw off Superfund Bulls Kapfenberg in an equally dominant fashion.

Gmunden, playing in their fourth straight finals, will have revenge on their minds after Wels edged them 80-76 in front of their home crowd in the semi-finals of the Austrian Cup. 

"We showed that we have some unfinished business ahead," Swans manager Harald Stelzer said after his troops canned Traiskirchen 94-67, 95-78 and 99-60.

"The final against Wels certainly is something special. 

"It has been a long season but the attitude will not be a problem as it is also a derby," Stelzer added. 

Wels skipper Markus Pargfrieder conceded mighty Gmunden, who lost just six of their 36 regular season games compared to Wels' 14 defeats, would enter the series as favourites.

"Looking at the whole season one would have to consider them favourites," he said.

"But if you consider the last two months I really fancy our chances."  

Right after the finals, three Gmunden players - Thomas Stelzer, Matthias Mayer and Peter Hutter - will join the Austrian national team as they begin preparations for their EuroBasket Division B campaign.

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