We have managed to win in a game that was very tight for three quarters, but ten minutes of excellent performance on both ends brought the next victory away from home in Zalaegerszeg.
ZTE NKK - Sopron Basket 72-95 (21-21, 25-27, 6-26, 20-21)
ZTE NKK: Koizar 6, Kovács G. 12/3, Harrison 11/9, Parker 5, Hegedűs-Őri 8 Sub.: Horti 13/6, Boonstra 7, Benke 6/6, Szalay 4, Preisinger -
Sopron Basket: Fegyverneky 8, Czukor 5, Turner 4, Dupree 22, Zahui 21 Sub.: Crvendakic 22/3, Salvadores 7/3, Határ 4, Dubei 2, Varga K. -, Weninger -
2-PTS: 13/29 ill. 33/43
3-PTS: 8/21 ill. 2/13
FTS: 22/24 ill. 23/26
Rebounds: 21 (Koizar 5) ill. 34 (Crvendakic 8)
Assists: 13 (Koizar, Szalay 3-3) ill. 26 (Turner 6)
Steals: 9 ill. 9 (Fegyverneky 3)
Turnovers: 19 ill. 15
Faults: 26 ill. 25
VAL: 61 (Horti, Kovács G. 13-13) ill. 127 (Crvendakic 35)
The game began with Amanda's double, and even though we couldn't pull away from our hosts, we started better (3rd minute 5-8). Then came a two-minute period in which neither side was able to score, which was broken by a nice lay-up by Candice. A bit later when Candice gave a superb assist to Amanda the home team called their first time-out of the game (6th minute 7-14). The short break has proved useful for ZTE, they performed a 6-0 run to come closer to us. Then just at the right moment Candice came up with a three-point play to get us back on track. Although we were not able to hold the hosts off for long, following some free throws they have tied the game up by the end of the firts quarter (10th minute 21-21).
ZTE continued the game in the second period were they left off in the first, and after 3-2 they have taken the lead. Even though Candice managed to give us a one-point advantage afterwards, the hosts kept pushing and following a three-point play they were already ahead by four points, which is why Roberto Iniguez called a time-out before the additional free throw (12th minute 28-24). In the following minutes we have made efforts for a comeback, but whatever we tried ZTE had an answer to it, until Aleks converted a free throw that brought us back to being just a single point behind our opponents. Unfortunately, that is when Horti hit a triple to restore the margin and force our second time-out (17th minute 38-34). After the pause we were able to tie the game up, but that is as far as we came until Zsófi hit one of her signature jumpers to regain the lead for us and force a time-out for the home side (19th minute 40-42). In the last minutes of the half we were able to hang on to this single basket lead thanks to a jumper made by Dalma right when the buzzer went off (20th minute 46-48).
Roberto Iniguez sent our Euroleague starters on court for the beginning of the second half, and they immediately took control of the game with a 6-0 run, after which Dávid Gáspár had to call his team to the bench to talk it over (23rd minute 46-54). The first points by the home side were scored from the free throw line by Boonstra, to which Aleks answered back with a three to restore our double-digit lead (48-59). Later on in the quarter ZTE were only able to score once from the line, while we kept making baskets resulting in yet another home team time-out (27th minute 49-66). Their efforts were unsuccessful, because we kept performing on both ends, and that effort showed in a 20+-point lead. The home fans had to wait almost until the end of the quarter for their first field goal of the half, but then Benke hit a nice one from downtown setting the score before the final stage of the game (30th minute 52-74).
The last period began with Angela making a shot from behind the arc, to which Gáspár-Salay answered back with a double, before Amanda converted an and-one. Following the unsportsmanlike foul called on Amanda Zalaegerszeg had the chance to reduce the gap under 20 points, but we did not allow that to happen, and on the other end Angela put two more between the sides (34th minute 58-82). In the remaining time in the quarter both teams had fought hard to keep their momentum alive, but the difference hasn't changed significantly. All in all, we were able to come away with a big margin win thanks to our outstanding performance in the third quarter (40th minute 72-95).
Roberto Iniguez: "We have been attacking excellently for 40 minutes, but in the first half we had serious troubles on defense. We have to progress along the lines of the second half. Congratulations to ZTE, they are a strong team that can be dangerous against anyone. Iam happy we were able to improve! "