|24 March 2011|
Basketball In EuropeBy Paul Nilsen
|Gunta Basko and Wisla Can-Pack take on Lotos Gdynia with fellow Latvian Elina Babkina and Latvia Head Coach George Dikeoulakos|
Gunta Basko has spoken of the need for Wisla Can-Pack to make home advantage count as they seek to edge rivals Lotos Gdynia in the Polish play-off semi-finals.
Speaking to the official club web-site ahead of the first match-up in the three game series which takes place in Krakow on Saturday, the influential Latvian is backing her team to emerge victorious but admits it is going to be tough against the defending play-off Champions and fellow EuroLeague Women competitors.
"The most important thing is to stay healthy and focused for the whole of this week ahead of the game."
"When the game comes, we will be hoping to play really hard and of course we will try to win but it's going to be a tough fight."
"However, if we keep our concentration during each and every game in the series for forty minutes it should be good for us."
When trying to assess how many games will be required for either team to reach the finals, a relaxed Basko laughed and admitted, "At least three!"
She added, "We will see, but it is essential we are playing at home in two of these games. We have the psychological advantage."
|Elina Babkina and Lotos Gdynia are full of self confidence after the cup triumph|
"Now we just have to go out and give everything we got, because these are the playoffs and it really counts, so we have to play hard and enjoy it.
So far the post-season has went smoothly for Wisla after they despatched Super-Pol Tecza Leszno in the quarter-finals 2-0 in relatively comfortable fashion while a rejuvenated Lotos Gdynia had to work a little harder against Matizol Lider Pruskow.
George Dikeoulakos and his players managed to get the job done in two games too but that included a tight 71-68 home success.
While regular season league winners Wisla-Can Pack remain favourites to progress to the Finals, Lotos Gdynia have the taste for silverware once again this season having recently lifted the Polish Cup and won't want to hand back their play-off Championship trophy without a fight.
Meanwhile the added dimension for Basko is that she will of course be trying to deny her National Team coach further success with the player likely to be the main weapon available for Dikeoulakos and the Latvia team at EuroBasket Women 2011 this summer.