Welsch Lifts Czechs Again

03 September 2006

Jiri Welsch put together a second consecutive stellar performance as the Czech Republic improved to 2-0 in Group C by defeating Hungary 80-76.

After scoring 31 in his team’s opening win on Wednesday, Welsch put up 21 and more importantly led the Czech Republic’s offense in a close game in the fourth quarter.

Welsch tallied 10 points in the final stanza, four of which came in the final 37 seconds of the game which enabled the Czechs to hold off Hungary.

After Balázs Simon got Hungary to within one point with 53 seconds remaining (75-74), the Czech Republic worked the 24-second shot clock before Welsh was fouled with 37 seconds to go.

He calmly made both, but Hungary was able to again cut the margin to one on a pair of free throws from Simon at the 31 second mark.

Robert Gulyas (Hungary)
Hungary's Robert Gulyas led all scorers with 27.
With Hungary desperate for a defensive stop, Welsch stepped up and made a jumper with just two seconds left on the 24 second clock and nine seconds remaining in the game which put the Czechs up 79-74.

Hungary came down and scored on a basket from Gergely Fodor with two seconds remaining and then fouled Ladislav Sokolovsky, who made one of two free throws to seal the win for the Czech Republic.

Sokolovsky finished the game with 16 points.

The game was close throughout. The teams were tied after one quarter and a three-pointer from Fodor just before halftime put Hungary up 41-37.

In the third quarter, no team would lead by more than four points.

Welsch’s free throws with just under a minute remaining in the quarter allowed the Czech Republic to enter the fourth trailing 60-58.

Welsch was involved in three consecutive Czech Republic scores in the opening moments of the fourth.

He assisted on Jaroslav Prasil’s lay-up, then made a jump shot.

His steal and dunk at the 7:22 mark put the Czech Republic back in front 65-64.

The two sides would continue to go back and forth until Welsch finally put the Czech Republic in front for good in the game's final minute.

Robert Gulyas led all scorers with 27 points.

On Wednesday, the Czech Republic will look for their third straight win when they play at Russia, while Hungary will play at Belgium.

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