It is generally thought that it is always easier to get to the top than to stay there. After the fantastic 2018 Euroleague silver medal we were at the gates of the FINAL4 in 2019 again. We were facing Bourges, whom we knocked out from the competition ten years earlier. We were preparing to do that again! Game one of the series brought a dramatic battle, and a crazy ending which gave the basis for continuing to dream.
The game began with a shoot-out between Johannes and Yvonne. The former scored four, the latter scored five points (2nd minute 5-4). However, by the middle of the quarter the advantage was with Bourges (11-16), but we wouldn’t stay behind. What’s more, after a triple by Queralt Casas came an away time-out, because we were back in the saddle again (20-18), and we managed to keep that advantage until the end of the period (10th minute 25-23).
After two and a half minutes Yvonne and Johannes were in the spotlight again, the teams were able to get through the initial difficulties with their baskets (14th minute 31-29). We scored seven points in a minute, the crowd went crazy, and then came the next French time-out (38-29)! The shot break had its effect on our rivals, because from that point on until the end of the half they came up with a big scoring run to tie the game up (20th minute 40-40).
The French managed to keep up their rhythm at the beginning of the third as well, and they turned the game their way in three minutes (23rd minute 44-47). Another three minutes have gone from the battle, but the scoreline didn’t change, so Roberto Iniguez called a time-out. It worked, because we came a bit closer to our opponents with a basket by Queralt, but our effort were in vain, because 28 minutes into the game Bourges were ahead by three again (48-51). However, at the end of the period it was our time to be happy. We took over the lead with a 6-0 run based on Yvonne’s scoring (30th minute 54-51).
The first basket in the final stage of the game was ours scored by Tina, thanks to which we were ahead by five points. After a French basket the difference got stuck at three points for the next five minutes, forcing Bourges’s next time-out (37th minute 58-55). After the short break Candice made a shot to increase our lead to five, but then the French shook it off and tied the game up with two minutes left on the clock, forcing Roberto Iniguez to call his team to the bench (60-60). From that point on the teams were neck and neck, there were multiple lead changes, and then, with four second remaining Candice came up with a difficult fade-away jumper to win the game (40th minute 66-65)!
Roberto Iniguez: It was a tough game, but that's what we expected! Bourges is a great team with fantastic dynamics,big knowledge and physique, and they are also well-prepared tactically. I think we can play better than we did today. Everyone in the locker room know that this was only one win, we have to keep going and learn from our first quarter.We have to focus on things that got us here better. On some players I have seen signs of fatigue, but I hope we can recover until Friday. We have to play in one of the arenas with the best atmosphere in Europe, and try to close the series. It will be very difficult, but not impossible with a winning mentality!
Candice Dupree: It was a tough game, OUr defense could have benn better in the first half but it wasn't what we will need on Friday in the second half either.
Olivier Lafargue: We wanted to play good basketball against a Sopron team with incredible fans. We have worked for games with an atmosphere like his all year! Now we will go home and I hope that we will return for a game three.
Elodie Godin:We knew how important today's game was in the series. Not counting the first quarter we have defended well and played a very good game with Sopron.
As it is known, since no champions were announced in our domestic leagues, the Hungarian Basketball Federation has sorted out the international cup seeds based on the results of the past three seasons, picking our team for the Euroleague spot
Who would have thought back in 2018 that a year later we would be able to host the Euroleague FINAL4 again? Well, the world set their eyes on Sopron again, because the decision-makers at FIBA thought that only the experience staff of our club would be able to organize the event on a high level within three weeks
Ki gondolta volna 2018-ban, hogy egy év múlva ismét mi rendezhetjük az Euroliga négyes döntőjét? Már pedig ismét Sopronra szegezte tekintetét a nagyvilág, miután a FIBA döntnökei úgy gondolták, egyesül a mi klubunk tapasztalt stábja tudja három hét alatt megszervezni magas színvonalon az eseményt
A 2018-as FINAL4 döntője kapcsán ünnepre készült minden magyar kosárlabda barát! Először léphetett pályára magyar csapat az Euroliga elsőségért! A túloldalon egy kisebb világválogatott sorakozott fel, mely érvényre is juttatta nagyobb erejét a remekül küzdő csapatunkkal szemben