“This team does not have to be afraid of anyone at all. Especially when they are playing in such an emotional state as they are now,” Welsch said in an interview with ČTK. “I may be nostalgic, but when I came to the national team 20 years ago, the matches were beaten in advance with the feeling of defeat. We, as a new generation, tried to change that then and start looking those countries and players in the eye. But this generation around Saty (Tomáš Satoranský) and Veseláč (Jan Veselý) already have it in them. They have respect for their opponents, but at the same time they are aware of their own quality and strength, which moves them differently than the generation had 20 or 25 years ago, “he said. Welsch.
Under the five circles, the national team will present itself for the first time since 1980 from the time of Czechoslovakia, and according to the former representative, it is the result of a process that needed time, system and gradual accumulation of experience. “It’s not an isolated thing, it’s about passing on knowledge from generation to generation, motivating your predecessors or inspiring those who come after you. Yes, it’s primarily about the 12 guys who did it in Canada, but as a result it’s a broader result of the efforts of the entire Czech basketball, which de facto starts with youth coaches, volunteers or even parents who take you to training, “said Welsch.
The duel with Canada was the highlight for him in the qualifying tournament. “It was probably the biggest match I’ve experienced since I joined the national team in 1998. We played a lot of big, groundbreaking matches, but it was above all on Saturday. It was an emotional peak for me,” Welsch said.
“On Sunday I tried to be a realist, but I couldn’t imagine that it would turn out differently after that injection of emotion and euphoria. It was a finish that I happily enjoyed, because we dominated the Greeks from the first to the last minute. “We were clearly a better and hungrier team. Our hunger to go to Tokyo was the biggest of all the teams I saw in our group,” said a former Boston Celtics or Golden State Warriors player.
After the match, he was pleased that when he went home at night, his former teammates Satoranský and Jan Veselý called him from Canada. “It wasn’t a standard situation, it was such a stroking and stabbing. On the contrary, they showed the inner peace that came in them. And the fact that they also remembered and called me from the bus when they left the hall touched me. It was a nice moment. , “said Welsch.
Looking at the latest successes, which also included sixth place at the previous year’s World Cup in China, he believes that Ronen Ginzburg’s team can advance from the basic group in Tokyo, where they will face the USA, France and Iran. “I don’t think it’s a deadly group. What else do you want in a tournament for the top 12,” Welsch smiled. “We will be the favorite against Iran. On the contrary, the USA will put together a different team than in China and they will be elsewhere. However, I think we can look France in the eye. So head up and go to the Olympics knowing what we have already done and what we can still prove it, “added Welsch.