Updates: 10/19/2021 11:20 AM
Released: 19.10.2021, 11:20
Prague – Even with the returned American supporters Alyssa Thomas and Brionna Jones, on Wednesday the basketball player USK Prague will attack the second victory in the new year of the European League. After two duels on the opponents’ pitches, the Czech champions will present themselves for the first time on the home board, where they will welcome the Hungarian Szekszárd. After 20 months, fans will also support them in the Euroleague from the auditorium of the Královka hall.
“I already have a little abstinence,” coach Natália Hejková told ČTK. “He is at home at home, and even if we play against a team we have not yet played with, because our group is very balanced, we cannot afford to underestimate anything,” he said.
The USK basketball players last played a home game with spectators in the European League in February 2020, when they defeated Venice (89:57). Subsequently, the elimination fights were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the last Euroleague year took place only in the form of so-called bubbles. The Czech champions were eliminated in the basic group and did not advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2012/13 season.
“However, I am not afraid that the girls in the hall will be annoyed by the noise. They experienced the encouragement and music in the first match on the Montpellier playground. It was a bit more intimate in Moscow, but I expect that there will be something in between in Prague,” says Hejková.
After two matches, her charges have a balance of one win and one defeat. After a close loss of 74:75 to Montpellier, they succeeded last week in Moscow against the MBA by 25 points (79:54). “Thanks to this success, the team calmed down a bit. There was a slight nervousness and I know that the players were very happy with this victory. They immediately have a better inner feeling and impulse to work, which is also evident in training,” Hejková said.
Although the Slovak coach will probably not be able to count on the injured Alena Hanušová, she is looking forward to the return of the American sub-players Thomasová and Jones, who probably missed the opening due to participating in the WNBA semifinals. “They arrived on Sunday, and even though I didn’t force them to do so, they felt responsible for coming to training on Monday morning. We repeated things from last year and it’s an advantage that they know our system in defense,” Hejková said.
“They are both in good health and this competition will be good for them. It is clear from them that they need to correct the pain from the failure in the WNBA semifinals.
Szekszárd, who is one of the newcomers to the European League, has two setbacks so far. After the initial defeat in Venice at 59:80, he was not enough at home a week ago at Montpellier, with which he fell 65:72. The main support of the team is pivotka Nikolina Miličičová from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who has an average of 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per match.
“I know their coach and assistant, who has a former player. They play classic tough Hungarian basketball with a hard defense and we need to prepare for it. I believe that we will deal with them in the attack and that we will show the same performance in defense as last time against Moscow,” “Help Hejková.
The match will start on Wednesday in Prague from 19:00.