Brno Sports Weekly Report — Rested and Rejuvenated, Kometa Begins Run for the Postseason
HC Kometa plays roughly every two or three days through the end of the regular season on March 8. Photo credit: Vít Novák.
Brno, Feb. 13 (BD) — egoé Basket Brno looks to build on Group A1 success against visiting BK Armex Děčín tonight at 8, KP Brno uses Battle of Brno win as a springboard to more success and the Brno sports schedule.
Kometa Primed For Final Push Towards the Postseason
HC Kometa resumes its Tipsport extraliga regular season tonight at Mlada Boleslav. The game will be on ČT Sport at 5:20 p.m.
Kometa is sixth in the league. In 42 games, they have a slightly better than .500 winning percentage, with 18 outright wings and five extra-time wins balanced against four extra-time losses and 15 outright losses. They have scored 124 goals against 115 that they have allowed.
Brno’s 68 points are 17 behind league-leaders Liberec (85 points). Třinec (81 points), Plzeň (79), Hradec Králové (76), and Vítkovice (72) are also ahead in the standings.
After Mlada Boleslav, Kometa will play a game roughly every two to three days until end of the season on March 8. The big games on the schedule are at Oceláři Třinec on Feb 17; at home against Mountfield Hradec Kralove on Feb. 19; at Litvínov on Feb. 24 (on ČT Sport); at home against Vítkovice on March 1; and at Liberec on March 3
The season ends with two rivalry games: at home against Sparta on March 5 and at Zlín on March 8.
The playoffs include several levels. In the pre-playoff series, the seventh- and 10th-place teams and the eighth- and ninth-place teams play loser-out best-of-five series to move into the main Playoff Bracket.
In the best-of-seven quarterfinals (March 18 to 31), the lowest-seeded team from the pre-playoff series plays the regular-season winner and the higher seeded team from the pre-playoff series plays the regular-season runner up. Also, the third- and sixth-place regular season teams and the fourth- and fifth-place regular season teams play quarterfinal series.
The semifinals are best-of-seven and will be held from April 3 to 15. The best-of-seven finals will be from April 18 to 30.
Kometa, who caught fire in the last two postseasons, have three leading offensive players: Petr Holík has 13 goals and 32 assists for a team-high 45 points. American Peter Mueller has a team-leading 22 goals and 20 assists for 42 points. Martin Zaťovič has 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points.
Defenders Ondřej Němec (3+23 for 26 points) and Jan Štencel (6+15 for 21 points) are the only other players with more than 20 points.
Martin Erat, a veteran who started late in the season to save his legs for the postseason, has about a point per game: 3 goals and 14 assists in 13 games.
Karel Vejmelka, a 22-year-old, has handled most of the goalkeeping duties, with 29 starts. Marek Čiliak, however, is back from a less-than-one-season stay in the KHL. Čiliak started as a youth in the Kometa system in 2005 and he was the team’s main goalkeeper from the 2013 season through the back-to-back championship seasons.
egoé Basket Brno Looks to Continue Winning Streak Tonight
At the end of the first quarter against visiting Pardubice last Wednesday, Brno head coach Christianos Chougkaz decided to mix things up.
The offense hadn’t started well, the American players would be able to rest for later in the game and the young players would, hopefully, be able to get some experience against a top team. Just holding the line would be enough.
Instead, the less-experienced players — Lukas Stegbauer (23 years old), Jan Kozina (23), Viktor Vasat (21), Zdenek Nehyba (23) and Radek Farsky (19) — built a lead. Chougkaz left the second team out on the floor to start the second quarter and got several more quality minutes and, with four minutes left in the first half, a nine-point lead.
It may have been a small detail, but it imbued the team with a level of confidence that carried it through moments of adversity and, eventually, to victory in the first game of Group A1. egoé Basket Brno beat BK JIP Pardubice, 81-80.
Brno (9-14) plays its second Group A1 game tonight with BK Armex Děčín (14-9) at Campus Square at 8 p.m. Then there is a long break before the third game of Group A1 when Brno welcomes Sluneta Ústí nad Labem (14-9) to play on March 2.
Another (perhaps not so) small detail in Basket Brno’s win over Pardubice was the increased emphasis on defense. Pardubice had a final shot, but it was well defended by a fast-closing trio of Gieger, Stegbauer and Keely.
A huge part of the victory was the outside shooting of Deremy Geiger, who was 7 of 12 from 3-point range and led the game with 30 points, possibly because he had extra spring in his legs.
Jakub Jokl was a force under the basket; he scored a season-high 12 points in just over 20 minutes of game time. Nehyba had 11 points.
Brno earned its berth in Group A1 when it beat Kingspan Královští sokoli, 89-77, on the final day of the regular season. It is the first time that Brno men’s basketball team has been in the advanced group since it entered the league six years ago. Group A1 guarantees that Brno will stay in the Kooperativa NBL next season.
During the first 22 games, Brno had won only three games against the teams it would face in Group A1. Brno had lost to Pardubice twice.
KP Brno Builds on Battle of Brno Win
KP Brno, the defending Czech Cup winners and the runners up in the ZBL last year, proved that they are still the top team in Brno when they went to Žabovřesky last Wednesday and beat Žabiny Brno, 54-51.
Both teams won their subsequent games. Žabiny Brno beat U19 Chance, 94-60, on Friday and KP Brno beat fourth-place Sokol Hradec Králové, 64-49, on Saturday to avenge its Oct. 27 loss earlier this season.
ZVVZ USK Praha (17-0) is still tops in the league. KP Brno (13-3) is second and BK Žabiny Brno (11-5) are third.
KP Brno travels to ZVVZ USK Praha on Saturday for a 5 p.m. game. Žabiny Brno host fifth-place DSK Basketball Nymburk (11-6) on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Teamstore Brno (1-15) hosted ZVVZ USK Praha on Sunday and lost, 50-112. Teamstore Brno travels to Loko Trutnov (10-6) on Sunday, hoping to notch their elusive second win in a league that is increasingly split in half. The top six teams have winning percentages of at least 62.5 percent.
The rivalry game between Žabiny Brno and KP Brno was a low-scoring but emotional game. Both teams started nervously, especially Žabiny Brno.
“The first quarter, where we lost 8-21, actually decided the whole game,” said Viktor Pruša, the head coach of Žabiny Brno. “Tension cost us a lot of strength. The first quarter was definitely disappointing for us.”
The home team was able to get back into the game, such that it had an excellent chance of winning, when leading scorers Petra Záplatová (20 points) and Matuzonyté Justina (11) got hot from the field in the second quarter and BK Brno was held to just four points in the fourth quarter.
Nevertheless, BK Brno held on to win the first Battle of Brno of 2019. Edita Šujanová led BK Brno with 15 points. Lenka Bartáková added 13.
The next installment of the rivalry will be in Kralovo Pole on March 2.
Clearly, KP Brno’s defense is a powerful obstacle for top teams, only allowing Žabiny Brno (51) and Hradec Králové (49) a combined 100 points.
Žabiny Brno are preparing to host the Final Four of the Central Europe Women’s League. The semifinal games are Feb. 23 and the third-place and championship games are on Feb. 24. Brno, which went undefeated in four Group B games, plays Group A runner-up Piestanske Cajky in the semifinals. Sokol Hradec Kralove faces Young Angels Kosice in the other semifinal.
BRNO SPORTS RESULTS
Quick results for various Brno professional and recreational sports for the past week. Home team listed first (when applicable).
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2018
— Women’s Basketball; Žabiny Brno 51, KP Brno 54
— Men’s Basketball: egoé Basket Brno 81, BK JIP Pardubice 80
Friday, Feb. 8, 2018
— Women’s Basketball: U19 Chance 60, Žabiny Brno 94
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: KP Brno 64, Sokol Hradec Králové 49
Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: Teamstore Brno 50, ZVVZ USK Praha 112
BRNO SPORTS SCHEDULE
The schedule for various Brno professional and recreational sports for the next two weeks. All dates and times subject to change. Home team listed first (when applicable).
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019
— Hockey: Ml. Boleslav X Kometa, 5:20 p.m. (ČT Sport)
— Men’s Basketball: egoé Basket Brno X BK ARMEX Děčín, 8 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 15, 2019
— Hockey: Kometa X Pardubice, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: Žabiny Brno X DSK Basketball Nymburk, 5 p.m.
— Women’s Basketball: ZVVZ USK Praha X KP Brno, 5 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: Loko Trutnov X Teamstore Brno, 5 p.m.
— Hockey: Oceláři Třinec X Kometa, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019
— Hockey: Kometa X Mountfield HK, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: BLK Slavia Praha X Žabiny Brno, 4:45 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 22, 2019
— Hockey: K. Vary X Kometa, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: KP Brno X Loko Trutnov, 3:30 p.m.
— Women’s Basketball, CEWL Final Four, semi-finals: Sokol Hradec Kralove X Young Angels Kosice, TBD
— Women’s Basketball, CEWL Final Four, semi-finals: Žabiny Brno X Piestanske Cajky, TBD
Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: Teamstore Brno X Slovanka MB, 5 p.m.
— Hockey: Litvínov X Kometa, 3:30 p.m. (ČT Sport)
— Women’s Basketball, CEWL Final Four, third-place game: TBD
— Women’s Basketball, CEWL Final Four, finals: TBD
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019
— Hockey: HC Masaryk University X Bo Ostrava, 8 p.m.
The Brno Sports Report is published every Wednesday. All dates and times are subject to change. Most of the stories are about the traditional “English-speaking” team sports — football, hockey, baseball, basketball, American football, rugby, etc. — but it is also about the interesting local spectator and participation sports — tennis, badminton, running, horse racing, swimming, rock climbing, biking, etc. If you have any suggestions for what should be included, please comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.