Day 3 Women: CZE 98 - CHN 83
ATHENS With two players scoring 20 points or more and with a great performance in general, the Czech Republic Womens team deserved its first win in the Olympic Games Basketball Tournament.
After a close defeat by Spain and a clear loss to the United States, the 2003 European Championships silver medallists, beat Asian champions China 98-83.
Jana VESELA led the Czech Republic with 22 points, plus seven rebounds and six steals, in a very balanced attacking game.
Team mate Eva VITECKOVA supported with 20 points and Romana HAMZOVA also contributed 16 points, plus eight assists for the winning team.
Centre CHEN Nan led China with 23 points, plus seven rebounds and some nice inside plays.
Four of her team mates also contributed double figure scores. YE Li, MIAO Lijie and captain SUI Feifei all posted 16 points and PAN Wei finished the game with 11 points.
Many times during the first half China had the lead, thanks mainly to a seven from nine record on three point shots, but in the second half the Czech Republic moved the ball inside and were rewarded with a 75-63 lead at the end of the third period.
With the score 80-68 early in the fourth, the Czech's final domination was just a matter of time.
The Czech Republic will now attempt to add another victory to its Olympic Games campaign when it takes on Korea on Friday, 20 August at the Helliniko Indoor Arena.
China will attempt to recover with a match against New Zealand, also on Friday, 20 August at the Helliniko Indoor Arena.
|Press conference quotes:|
Ivana VECEROVA (CZE), Centre:
On the game:
"The game was really tough. But I think that we play hard, especially in the defense. In addition, the lack of height for the team of China really helped us, because we had the chance to take a lot of rebounds and make fast-breaks."
On the way to the quarterfinals:
"We must win the next two games, against Korea and New Zealand, otherwise we will have problem. So, these matches are very crucial for the qualifying to the next phase. But I think that we are going to make it. We are the favourites."
Eva VITECKOVA (CZE), Forward:
On the game:
"In the 1st half we couldnt stopped the perimeter players of China from shooting 3 point shots. In the second one, we improved our defense and we managed to get a 10-point margin. Now, we have to win the next two matches, in order to qualify to the final eight
teams, but we know that it is not so easy."
Michaela PAVLICKOVA, Forward (CZE)
"In the first half we played very bad defence, that's why we gave up nearly 50 points, with China hitting seven three-pointers in the first ten minutes. In the second half we played better, they didn't get as many threes, and we played good team Basketball."
Jan BOBROVSKY, Head Coach (CZE)
"I'm glad we won this game. It was much harder than the score tells. We played bad perimeter defence in the first half, but it was our defence as well that made the difference in the second, and we managed to keep the lead for the rest of the game."
SUI Feifei, Guard (CHN)
"We tried our best in the first half, but in the second we did not stick to our coach's plan, and when we fell back we tried to catch up with offence but did not do a good job at that, and there were holes in our defence as well, so for about two minutes we were in chaos. I hope we learn a lot from the Czech Republic, which is one of the best teams in Europe, and play better next time."
GONG Luming, Head Coach (CHN)
"It was a very interesting game. We played well in the first half, but in the second we did not rebound well, we gave up a lot of fouls, and Czech scored some easy points. Rebounds especially are killing us, and the Czechs got many second-chance points today. In the third quarter we were too eager to take a big lead and concentrated too much on offence, so the opponents came to us more aggressively and we were called for many fouls."
Source: Athens News Service