Czech basketball players secured a historic advance to the Tokyo Olympics from the same deck that helped the Toronto Raptors to their first Canadian NBA title in history two years ago. According to the national team manager Michal Šob, the organizers of the tournament in Victoria paid $ 330,000 (approximately 7.1 million crowns) to the Golden State Warriors team to play the qualification in this area, and they believed that it would bring them luck. However, the team of NBA players lost in the semifinals to the Czech team 101: 103 after extra time, and the team of coach Ronen Ginzburg subsequently defeated Greece in the final.
“According to my information, the Canadian organizers spent five million dollars to prepare everything for their trip to Tokyo. They also bought a board from the Golden State Warriors team, which Toronto won as the only Canadian NBA team in the seventh match in 2019. “$ 330,000, just to bring them luck. These numbers show what they were willing to sacrifice for it,” Sob told CTK.
The Canadians went through the Olympic tournament without defeat until the semi-final clash with the Czech Republic, when they defeated Greece 97:91 and then China 109: 79. They also went from the position of the favorite to the semi-final match, which, according to captain Tomáš Satoranský, was a sign of their setting.
Ondřej Balvín (left) and Canadian Andrew Nicholson.
Chad Hipolito, ČTK / AP
“They warmed up very lukewarmly before the match. Even the locals I talked to told me that they approached it as one of the many matches on the way to Tokyo and that they would just put on another bead. That’s why Tomas called them all before the match and said “Look how they prepare. They don’t expect something difficult to face. They don’t respect our strength. Let’s show them that we are not just one of many obstacles and they will have a hard time.” Then the players started to do it, “said Sob.
Canada then withdrew a thirteen-point deficit in the match and in the dramatic conclusion equalized in the last 44 seconds from 85:94 to 94:94, but in the overtime it did not use a five-point lead and lost.
“When I talked about it with the local organizers, they were probably more shocked than disappointed. However, each of them wished us fairly for performance, progress, and even though we eliminated them, they were incredibly pleasant and willing. Originally, they had the whole qualification ready. as a big Canada Day event, with parades, but they were thwarted by the coronavirus situation, which was annoying for them, but they all admitted that there was only one team on the field in that match, because the other already thought he was in Tokyo. , “added Sob.