Before being eliminated today by Australia, I will analyze here the good results made by the most surprising team of this World Cup, Czech Republic. They have smashed in a row Turkey, Brazil and made a decent result against Greece, qualifying in the quarterfinals. Big teams with impressive rosters like Canada, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Brazil didn’t succeed. Why? What’s the secret of the Czech Republic’s performance?
First of all, the Cezch squad it’s almost the same team that got beaten by Hungary at the Eurobasket 2017 in Cluj-Napoca. The only big name that completes the roster for this World Cup is the center Ondrej Balvin (2,17 m) with high-level experience in Europe.
The main weapon of this underestimated team is chemistry. They were growing as a group during the last years, playing together and building solid relationships on the court. This was possible mostly because half of the national team is coming from ERA Nymburk, the eternal Czech champions and the club who represents the country in the European competitions (Eurocup or Basketball Champions League). The national team’s coach Ronen Ginzburg is also the coach of ERA Nymburk. So the players know each other, they have performed for the same club and coach for years.
Then, starting with this core, you add a high IQ guard Tomas Satoranski who orchestrates the offense, creating space for open shots of his teammates. In the paint, there are the giant Ondrej Balvin and Patrick Auda, versatile power forward with good hand from the mid- and long-range too. The Czech team is gravitating around these 3 experienced players and in the right moment, the sharpshooter Jaromir Bohacik (Nymburk) appears to seal the basket.
There are no 12 stars in this team, but 12 smart players who move the ball in the best way to find the open guy. Most of them are role players and they know it and accepted it. And that’s the most important part of the basketball philosophy. I don’t expect them to pass Australia, but even so, Czech Republic is an example of how to play basketball as a team.
Photo credit: http://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2019