In Sports News this Monday: Czechs reach quarter-finals at EuroBasket with historic win over Croatia – and could qualify for Rio Olympic; Limberský slammed for “steering wheel” goal celebration after drink driving charge; and ice hockey Extraliga resumes after summer break.
Czech Republic defy odds to reach last eight at EuroBasket
Among the stars of the Czech team on Sunday was David Jelínek, whose 11 points in four minutes during the second quarter represented a turning point in the game. The shooting guard said the huge win in France’s Lille was payback for defeat to the Croatians in the group stage of the same competition two years ago.
“We all went into the match in that spirit. We believed in ourselves. Croatia were the favourites but they didn’t play so brilliantly, so we knew they could be beaten. We gave it our all and I think that was the key thing… We won’t be celebrating much just yet. We’re not in the semi-final or the final yet. It was just the last-16 stage. Very difficult games await us so we have to keep training.”
Veteran former NBA player Jiří Welsch, now aged 35, had thought that Sunday’s game might be his last in Czech colours.
“This morning I spoke to my girlfriend, who is at home with our little baby girl. I said I’d phone her again in the afternoon, either with the news that I was in the quarter-finals at the Euros or that I had entered international retirement. So I’m looking forward to telling her my retirement has been postponed.”
The Czech Republic can qualify for the Olympics if they beat Serbia in Wednesday’s quarter-final, or win the games to decide fifth to eighth place at EuroBasket. They would be the only Czechs involved in a team sport in Rio.