"We are thrilled to bits, that we managed to win this game. We were visibly better team on the court and the quality was on our side what really please us," stated calmly after EuroBasket Women Qualification Round game in Slovenian Ljubljana manager of Slovak national team Ivan Benninghaus.
Slovenia – SLOVAKIA 61:72 (16:24, 35:38, 50:58)
Slovenia: Piršič 25 (11 rebounds), Erkič and Oblak 8, Trebec 6 (11 rebounds), Jagodič 0 (Komplet 10, Barič 4, Dover 0). Coach: Boris Zrinski
SLOVAKIA: Kupčíková 10, Černáková 8, Lukačovičová 6, Kubatová 5, Jurčenková 2 (Jalčová 15 /3 three-pointers/, Vyňuchalová 14, Lawless 8, Tetemondová 3, Minčíková 1). Coach: Ivan Vojtko
TH: 11/15 (73 %) – 10/13 (77 %), fouls: 18 – 18, three-point field goals: 2/14 (14 %) – 8/25 (32 %), shooting efficiency: 24/57 (42 %) – 27/70 (38 %), rebounds: 35 – 44, spectators: 500, referees: Kupatadze (Ge.), Vovk (Cr.), Papapetrou (Gr.), quarters: 16:24, 19:14, 15:20, 11:14
"We surprised our opponents by superbly designated and restrainedly fulfilled tactics, but also by unusual basic five on the court. Gabriela Kubatová absolutely eliminated Slovenian play-maker Nika Barič. A row of 12 points in succession at the beginning of the game by which were able to turn the score from 2:4 to 14:4, was also really crucial fact in the course of the game," added Ivan Benninghaus.
Mainly Sandra Piršič and her 10 points saved home team from disaster in the first quarter. "Piršič was able to score nearly from everywhere in this stage of game. She used the fact that Barič didn’t have any space on the court and she just passed every ball on Piršič," commented Ivan Benninghaus.
Slovaks stretched their advantage on 24:12 after basket scored by Katarína Tetemondová in the first quarter. Our NT entered second quarter with 8 points advantage and were able to keep it until 19. minute. In the last minute of the first half Slovenians managed to reduce the score difference on three point and it was quite clear that we hadn’t won the match yet.
"We entered the second half well – Veronika Černáková scored three points and confidence returned to our girls. Subsequently we were able to defend the offensive pressure of Slovenia, and despite dramatic final stages of the game hosts could level the score – moreover at the end we got into 8 points lead," manager of Slovak NT explained the game details.
Slovak basketball players grasped the well running duel into their hands. Our girls coached by Ivan Vojtko controlled the course of the game and three minutes before ending "buzzer" we were in 72:61 lead after basket scored by Ivana Jalčová. Home team couldn’t find the strength for final resistance and our basketball team granted Slovenia the first loss in this year edition of EuroBasket Women Qualification Round.
"Girls knew really well how important was the duel against Slovenia – and we were also aware how could the possible loss complicate our future situation in GROUP C. I really appreciate the approach of our girls towards such an important game. It was clearly Slovak night in Slovenia," Ivan Benninghaus concluded the evaluation of our successful encounter in Slovenia.