|18 June 2013|
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013
|Katerina Elhotova will face a difficult task in containing Great Britain's Johannah Leedham|
By Joe Hewison
The Czech Republic will look to build momentum when they open the second round against a Great Britain side hoping to recover from a heavy defeat.
Last Time Out: The Czech Republic made it two wins in a row as they followed-up their 70-51 victory against Lithuania with an assured 74-68 success over Croatia. Great Britain's final group game saw them outclassed 79-47 by France after they won their first two.
Key Match-Up: The only previous meeting of these sides came in the first round of EuroBasket Women 2011 when Katerina Elhotova led the Czechs to a 60-45 victory with a superb 27-point performance. The 23-year-old averaged 14.2 points through nine games in that competition and was expected to become the focus of her team's offence this time around in the absence of Eva Viteckova. However, the shooting guard averaged just 4.7 points-per-contest in Trelaze and may also be required to fill a key defensive role in this game, guarding opposite number Johannah Leedham, who is leading Great Britain's charge, averaging 13 points.
Key Stat: The Czech Republic have forced the most steals of any team in the competition with 32 from their first three games. Meanwhile, of the teams in the second round, only the Slovak Republic have committed more turnovers than Great Britain's 59.
X-Factor: The attitude, spirit and togetherness of Great Britain has been credited as the reason for many of their better performances in recent years and the Czech's have displayed similar unity in the wake of Jana Vesala's injury three minutes into their first game.
From The Camps: Great Britain guard Johannah Leedham said: "We are a team nobody expected to be here but our expectations are a lot higher than people think. We are definitely going into the next round looking to get some wins and get into that top eight."
After his side's win over Croatia, Czech Republic Head Coach Lubor Blazek said: "We could have been calmer towards the end of the game if we were more successful with our shooting. For example, to make only free-throws 10 of 21 free-throw attempts, we could have done better."