Despite the notable absence of Satoranský, Krejčí and Bohačík, the Czechs played the match well, they were not afraid to finish from distance and kept the favorites with a consistent defense. “We took it as if we had nothing to lose and we managed to catch our opponent by surprise by doing things he didn’t expect from us,” claimed the best Czech scorer Ondřej Balvín. After a quarter of an hour, the fearless play the visitors took the lead at 35:24, they were showing tremendous energy and more than fifteen thousand spectators in the auditorium could only shake their heads in amazement.
With a three-pointer in the last second, Hruban established a sensational half-time lead of the Czech team 42:38, but the break before the third quarter lasted 35 minutes instead of the quarter hour determined by the rules. The basket fell to the ground, where the 216 cm tall pivot Gobert, one of the four French players from the NBA, hung for a long time after the smash before the break.
The fix went ahead, and the Czech team completely fell off the pace during the unplanned long wait. In addition, after the restart of the game, the representatives had to attack the problematic basket and it was as if they lost offensive self-confidence. Mentally, they could not cope with the very unusual situation, they lost their concentration and from the beginning of the third part, under the pressure of the opponent, lost the ball.
The home team quickly turned the score around with an eight-point streak, as the Czechs finished from unprepared positions. However, the French found their composure, were aggressive in defense and bet on breaks, so they won the third ten-minute period 28:8 and made the decision. Then everything was headed for a heavy defeat, none of the representatives could withstand the weight of how the deficit in points grew.
“We played incredibly different halves. We started the game well and took advantage of the fact that the French were starting to get sleepy. We surprised them with accurate shooting from distance. But in the second half they added a lot , they were more aggressive in the intensity of the game, they pressed the ball and unfortunately we fell behind in everything,” captain Vojtěch Hruban told Czech Television.
He also pointed out a non-basketball fact. “The extended stoppage, along with the long time they took on that basket, was a little annoying for us. We tried to put it behind us, but from the third quarter, we completely lost our shooting. Against great the opponent’s defense, we did not have enough good positions to finish, the creation of the game did not go well, and after losing the ball, France ran a quick counterattack,” thought the author of eleven four Czech points in front of the camera.
|Qualification of basketball players who advanced to the 2023 World Cup – Group K:|
|France – Czechia 95:60 (18:27, 38:42, 66:50)|
|France’s most points: Luwawu-Cabarrot, Yabusele both 16, Gobert 14.|
|Czech Republic lineup and points: Hruban 14, Balvín 12, Kyzlink 9, Sehnal 6, Veselý 4 – Jelínek 7, Auda 3, Peterka 3, Kříž 2, Půlpán, Palyza, Vyoral.|
|Fouls: 16:17. Free throws: 20/13 – 13/9. Triple: 6:7. Rebounds: 43:35.|
|Hungary – Lithuania 78:88 (38:44), Montenegro – Bosnia and Herzegovina 88:69 (41:26).|