Near Upset (in screen shots): Czech Republic Falls to Slovenia in EuroBasket Opener
Well, Jan, Tomas and the rest of the Czech Lions came up short in their EuroBasket opener to Slovenia, 62-60. It was a daunting task, trying to tame first-game jitters while playing in a hostile Slovenian arena that supported the home team, but the Czechs didn’t back down, surprisingly keeping the final score close. In true Wizards fashion, we’ll chalk it up as a moral victory (most seemingly expected the Czech Republic to get blown-out). Vesely, Satoransky and the boys will get a shot at redemption today in a match-up against Poland that can be seen online via ESPN3.
Below, we recap the opening loss versus Slovenia in screen shots…
Tomas Satoransky versus Goran Dragic (Phoenix Suns) was highlighted as the key matchup going into the game, and they didn’t disappoint. Both players were extra active, and, statistically, Satoransky got the best of Dragic, looking more composed and dynamic.
Satoransky finished with 12 points (5-11 FGs), 4 assists, 2 turnovers, and 4 rebounds. Dragic totaled 8 points (3-15 FGs, 0-7 3P), 9 assists, 6 turnovers, 2 steals, and 3 rebounds.
Vesely played an active game, had active hair. He scored a game-high 17 points on 13 shots (8 makes). Most of his attempts came from within five feet—he hit a couple of hook shot/runners and got some dunks off cuts. Vesely hesitantly decided that he would confidently take a jumper at one point, and missed. And that wasn’t the only inability he showed from more than his height’s distance away from the basket.
This guy kinda looked like Darius Songaila. Instead, his name is Pavel Houska.
One chap went with a more aggressive tug from the water bottle, Kamil Svrdlik on the right it seems. His buddy when with a more balanced, dainty method of water gathering.
The deck was stacked against the Czechs, as the hometown Slovenians showed up in their customary green garb and wigs.
The Czechs brought with them a guy sporting a doo-rag for support on the bench. Didn’t work.
Satoransky rolled in this 3-pointer and even a fading midrange jumper at the first quarter buzzer. Unlike Jan Vesely, Saty’s confidence seems legit.
Halftime game face from Satoransky. Lukas Kuba recently pointed out on Twiter than Saty’s profile on the Czech Basketball Federation website indicates that his favorite music is, “House – Dance, Hip-Hop Shit.” So maybe this face has something to do with that.
Jan and Tomas share some affectionate encouragement.
And then, a different type of “encouragement.”
I’d like to say that this guy’s name is Dieter, but I don’t think that’s a common Slovenian name. So, via the Google, his name is probably Feky.
This jolly Slovenian soul was ready for blood and battery tossing had his team lost to the Czechs.
Otherwise, the Slovenians, with a white, blue and red-colored national flag, naturally wore bright green and Charlie Brown zig-zags to the event.
So one guy in one of the few groups of Czech fans decided to wear a Cleveland Cavs first-name shirt from the mid-2000s—”LeBron, Varejao, Boobie, Drew & Z”—not the best omen.
Vesely went 1-for-5 from the free throw line, making the very last one he took. All of his misses were painful to watch, and in a two-point game, quite costly.
But hey, Jan dunked… See the Airwolf? There he goes…
The Czechs held together, especially when several times it appeared that the Slovenians were going to run away with the match. Missed free throws from the Czechs (6-for-15) and a three-rebound advantage on the offensive glass from the opposition were ultimately the deciding factors.
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