Brno Sports Weekly Report — Kometa Attacks Postseason In Quest For Golden Hat-trick
HC Kometa continues the postseason at DRFG Arena Friday and Saturday with a 2-0 quarterfinal-series lead against Mountfield HK. Photo credit: HC Kometa.
Brno, Mar. 20 (BD) — Žabiny Brno and KP Brno to meet in ŽBL semifinals, Lokomotiva inches up the standings with a tie, Zbrojovka Brno cannot maintain first-half lead, egoé Basket Brno takes the road for four straight games and the Brno sports results and schedule.
Kometa Starts Postseason with Two Road Wins at Mountfield HK
Is it happening again?
In both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, HC Kometa sputtered in the regular season of the Tipsport extraliga only to rally in the postseason en route to hoisting the championship trophy. In this 2018-19 season a similar pattern may be beginning: Kometa finished fifth in the regular season and they have dominated at fourth-place Hradec Králové so far in the quarterfinals.
Kometa, which lost all four regular-season games to Hradec Králové, won Game 1 on Monday, 1-3, and then Game 2 on Tuesday, 0-5.
The series comes to Brno on Friday and Saturday. Both games start at 7 p.m. The Saturday game is on (ČT Sport).
Jakub Orsava scored a hat-trick in Game 1, with assists on each of the three goals by Jan Hruška. Orsava, who also scored in Game 2, has been with Brno since late January. Hruška added a goal and two assists in Game 2.
Marek Čiliak was in goal for both postseason games. Čiliak was the cornerstone of the defense in both title runs and he recently returned after spending most of the season in the KHL with HC Slovan Bratislava. His Game 2 shutout was his third in 10 games with Brno, which won seven of those games.
Kometa has won 13 titles, the most of any team in national history. It is more impressive to see the years listed, one after another: 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, and, most recently, 2017 and 2018.
Libor Zábranský, a former NHL and national team player who was born in Brno in 1973, took control of the club in 2005 and he has brought the team back to its glory days, serving as the owner, general manager and head coach.
The past two seasons, Kometa dominated the playoffs with 12-2 records, ending with a championship-series sweep of Liberec in 2017 and beating Třinec four games to one in 2018.
This season, the semifinals, which are also best-of-seven, will be held from April 3 to 15. The best-of-seven finals will be from April 18 to 30.
All-Brno Semifinals: Žabiny Brno X KP Brno
In between the frantic attempts by Loko Trutnov to stave off defeat and keep their season alive, Žabiny Brno players stepped to the free-throw line and calmly converted their shots to maintain their lead and win the ŽBL quarterfinal series.
Beáta Adamcová hit two free throws. Kateřina Zohnová hit two, then two more. Karolína Malečková hit two. And Adamcová finished the series of 10 free-throws in a row as Zabiny advanced to the semifinals with a 96-92 victory on Thursday. They swept Trutnov, 3 games to 0.
Žabiny Brno will now play their cross-town rivals: KP Brno.
KP Brno also swept their quarterfinal opponent, finishing of BLK Slavia Praha on Tuesday with an 84-68 victory.
The schedule for the semifinal series is yet to be announced. A Brno team is guaranteed to be in the championship series, likely against ZVVZ USK Praha, which also swept three quarterfinal games to reach the semifinals.
Last year, KP Brno made it to the finals and lost to Praha.
Žabiny Brno Travel to Russia for EWBL Final Four
Within hours of their quarterfinal series victory over Loko Trutnov, Žabiny Brno were in the air on the way to Rostov-on-Don, Russia, for the European Women’s Basketball League Final Four.
Though they were close midway through the fourth quarter of both games — an 80-70 loss to eventual-champion TTT Riga in the semifinal game on Saturday and a 65-74 loss to home-team Rostov-Don-SFEDU on Sunday in the third-place game — Brno showed signs of fatigue by making several ill-advised passes and committing several errors in late in the games as they tried in vain to take the lead.
Lokomotiva Tie Plzen, Officially Move Out of Cellar
The positive way to look at the 2-2 tie against FC Viktoria Plzeň on Saturday is that that FC Lokomotiva-Horni Herspice got a point and moved out of the bottom spot of the standings of the top women’s football league in the country.
The less positive way to look at the result is that the team could really have used the two extra points that a win would have brought because they are fighting against relegation with only three games left in the regular season.
“We need every point,” said head coach Milan Matejka. “The important thing is that we didn’t lose.”
Seventh-place Lokomotiva (2-3-6, 9 points) is just ahead of FC Hradec Králové (3-0-8, 9). Plzeň (3-2-6, 11) slipped to sixth.
Lokomotiva jumped out to a quick lead when Nikol Mazúchová got an outlet pass at midfield and broke away from the defense. She blasted the ball at the goalkeeper, then easily collected the rebound to score the goal.
Unforunately, Plzeň rebounded to take a 1-2 halftime lead.
Matejka felt that the early goal possibly led to some overconfidence and lack of intensity.
“Maybe if we had gotten that (early) goal (against us) we would have been more focused,” he said. “In the second half we raised our intensity and it was easy to see. The problem is that we were pressing a little bit. A lot of the time our players wanted to move the ball on the first touch. If they had held onto the ball for two touches I think they would have created more.”
In the 57th minute, Tessa Andujar followed a loose ball toward the Plzeň goal. She had a step on a defender and the goalkeeper aggressively came out at her. Andujar had two choices: dribble of shoot. She chose the later and nicely poked the ball over the top of the goalkeeper and into the goal to tie the game.
“I have been known to dribble too much,” said Andujar, who played her first Czech league game. “I recently saw Japan play and one of the Japanese girls was able to chip the ball over the keeper. I have been working on that, and trying to decide when I should shoot it and when I should dribble.“
Lokomotiva plays Saturday against second-place SK Slavia Praha (9-0-2, 27), which just lost for the second time to undefeated league-leader AC Sparta Praha (11-0-0, 33).
Lokomotiva Brno will have a very important game against FC Hradec Králové in Horni Herspice on April 13 at 11 a.m. The loser could very well be the team that will be relegated at the end of the season.
The final league game will be at 1. FC Slovácko (4-0-7, 12) on April 21 at 4 p.m.
Zbrojovka Loses Second Half, Game at České Budějovice
Šimon Šumbera scored at 29 minutes and Michal Škoda scored at 33 minutes, but the scoring outburst was only good for the halftime lead because league-leaders České Budějovice quickly rebounded to win 3-2 on Sunday.
FC Zbrojovka Brno, which won the first two games of the spring half of the season, is now 8-5-6 with 29 points. České Budějovice (14-2-3) has 44 points.
The top three teams in the Fortuna:Narodni Liga get a chance to advance into the top league Fortuna:Liga at the end of the season. Zbrojovka is in seventh place, eight points behind third-place Hradec Králové (37 points).
After a two-week break for international play, Zbrojovka will play Prostějov (4-6-8, 18) on March 31 and Ústí nad Labem (9-2-7, 29) on April 7.
Only the top three teams from the Fortuna:Narodni Liga will have a shot to move up into the Fortuna:Liga. The top team goes directly. The second-place team plays the 15th-place team from the top league in a home-and-away series. And the third-place team plays the 14th-place team in a home-and-away series. (The 16th-place team from the top league is automatically relegated to the second league.)
egoé Basket Brno Hits the Road for Group A1
Injury plagued egoé Basket Brno dropped two games last week and it will play its next four games on the road as they start their second round of Kooperativa NBL Group A1.
Brno (10-19) will plays at BK JIP Pardubice (16-13) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and at BK Armex Děčín (14-15) on Saturday at 6 p.m. The next home game is against Dekstone Tuři Svitavy on Wednesday, April 3 at 8 p.m.
With several big players on the bench with injuries, including Reggie Keely, Radek Farský and Viktor Vašát, Brno used just eight players in both recent losses (10 to 12 is more normal); this has resulted in more weary legs at the end of the games, on top of the loss of the injured-team-member skills.
On Wednesday, BK Olomoucko (18-11, third in the standings) pulled away in the second half to win 73-103. Five Brno players scored in double digits: Zurab Kereselidze led the way with 13 points, then Deremy Geiger (12), Zdeněk Nehyba (12), Lukáš Stegbauer (11) and Davell Roby (10).
On Saturday, Brno lost, 95-57, to undefeated league powerhouse ČEZ Basketball Nymburk (29-0). Stegbauer had the best game of his season with a team-high 19 points. He took advantage of the extra attention that the Nymbuk defense paid to Geiger, who scored a season-high 30 points in the previous meeting but scored only three on Saturday. Stegbauer was five of six from 3-point range.
egoé Basket Brno is eighth in the Group A1 standings and four games behind sixth-place Děčín (14-15) and seventh-place Opava (14-15). Brno looks bound for the Pre-Play-Off Series where it would play against the one of the top teams from Group A2 in a best-of-three series for the chance to play in the main Play-Off Bracket.
BRNO SPORTS RESULTS
Quick results for various Brno professional and recreational sports for the past week. Home team listed first (when applicable).
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
— Men’s Basketball: egoé Basket Brno 73, Olomoucko 103
— Women’s Basketball, Quarterfinals, Game 1: KP Brno 79, BLK Slavia Praha 66
Thursday, March 14, 2019
— Women’s Basketball, Quarterfinals, Game 3: Žabiny Brno 96, Loko Trutnov 92
Saturday, March 16, 2019
— Women’s Football: Lokomotiva Brno H. H. 2, FC Viktoria Plzeň 2
— Men’s Basketball: ČEZ Basketball Nymburk 95, egoé Basket Brno 57
— Women’s Basketball, Quarterfinals, Game 2: BLK Slavia Praha 67, KP Brno 74
Sunday, March 17, 2019
—Men’s Football: Česky Budějovice 3, Zbrojovka Brno 2
Monday, March 18, 2019
— Hockey (Quarterfinal Game 1): Mountfield HK 1, Kometa 3
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
— Women’s Basketball, Quarterfinals, Game 3: KP Brno 84, BLK Slavia Praha 68
— Hockey (Quarterfinal Game 2): Mountfield HK 0, Kometa 5
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, March 20, 2019
— Men’s Basketball: BK JIP Pardubice X egoé Basket Brno, 6 p.m.
— Men’s Basketball: Teamstore Brno X SBŠ Ostrava, 6 p.m.
Friday, March 22, 2019
— Hockey (Quarterfinal Game 3): Kometa X Mountfield HK, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
— Men’s Basketball: egoé Basket Brno X BK ARMEX Děčín, 6 p.m.
— Women’s Football: SK Slavia Praha X Lokomotiva Brno H. H., 11 a.m.
— Women’s Basketball: SBŠ Ostrava X Teamstore Brno, TBD
— Hockey (Quarterfinal Game 4): Kometa X Mountfield HK, 7 p.m. (ČT Sport)
Sunday, March 24, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: SBŠ Ostrava X Teamstore Brno, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
— Men’s Basketball: SLUNETA Ústí nad Labem X egoé Basket Brno, 6 p.m.
Thursday, March 28, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: U19 Chance X Teamstore Brno, TBD
Saturday, March 30, 2019
— Men’s Basketball: BK Opava X egoé Basket Brno, 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 31, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: U19 Chance X Teamstore Brno, 6 p.m.
— Men’s Football: Zbrojovka Brno X Prostějov, 6 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, cricket, 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.