Brno Sports Weekly Report — Can a Short-handed Goal Spark a Title Run?
HC Kometa hopes to maintain their momentum with home games Sunday and Tuesday. Photo credit: Vít Novák.
Brno, Jan. 23 (BD) — Brno women’s basketball teams reinforce their rosters, egoé Basket Brno fights to make Group A1 and the Brno sports schedule.
HC Kometa Show Signs of Picking Up Steam
One reason people watch sports is because you never know what is going to happen. It’s not a scripted television show; it’s a live competitive event with highly skilled athletes.
On Tuesday, in Prague, just such an out-of-the-blue moment happened, and it helped HC Kometa snap a three-game losing streak with a 1-4 victory against Sparta Praha.
Perhaps, it could even be the catalyst for a third consecutive title run.
Midway through the third period, Martin Erat won a face off, tapped the puck to the side and knocked it three-quarters of the length of the rink into an empty goal. It was a shorthanded goal — three Kometa players were facing off against six Spartans.
It is the kind of goal that is remember and that, maybe, will be looked back upon as the moment eveything changed in a lackluster middle-of-the-regular-season. Brno, the two-time defending champion, is sixth in the standings with a month and a half left in the regular season. They have 62 points, 10 behind league-leader Třinec.
The momentum can continue with two home games this weekend: Zlín comes to town on Sunday at 5 p.m. and Chomutov arrives on Tuesday at 6.
Last week, Kometa reprised their Kometa Express on Friday, this time bringing thousands of fans to Ostrava by rail. Though they boosted the attendance to 9,539, they lost to HC Vítkovice Ridera, 4-1.
Ivan Baranka, a Slovak international, scored the only goal. It was his first goal in his third game for Brno. Previously, he played for the Slovak national team, including on three Olympic teams, in several places in Russia’s KHL and, for the past two season, for Vítkovice.
Last Sunday, Kometa returned to DRFG Arena, but lost, 1-2.
Martin Dočekal had two goals against Sparta.
KP Brno beats Teamstore Twice, Žabiny Brno Adds Zohnová
KP Brno beat Teamstore Brno twice at home last week. The first time, 87-30, put the north Brno team into the Women’s Final Four, where they will try to repeat as Czech Cup Champions. The second time, 72-50, kept KP Brno in second place in the ZBL regular season standings.
Žabiny Brno were eliminated from the Czech Cup when they lost a heartbreaker at home to Sokol Nilfisk H. Králové. Then they added Kateřina Zohnová, a member of the Czech national team at the 2012 London Olympics, and beat Loko Trutnov, 61-89, in a league game.
KP Brno (10-3) is second in the ZBL behind undefeated ZVVZ USK Praha (14-0). Sokol Nilfisk H. Králové (10-4) and DSK Basketball Nymburk (10-4) are tied for third. Right behind them is Žabiny Brno (9-4) in fifth place.
KP Brno and Žabiny Brno have both added players to strengthen their rosters. The teams will finally meet for the first time this season on Feb. 6.
Against Trutnov, Zohnová scored 11 points in her Žabiny debut to help leading-scorer Marques Webb, who was 8-for-8 from the field and totaled 19 points.
Zohnová, a 34-year-old wing, has played in Poland, Greece, Israel, France and Italy. Last season, she was in Piešťany, Slovakia.
Earlier this month, KP Brno added Reem Moussa, a 24-year-old Egyptian American, and Czech international Lenka Bartáková.
Basket Brno Fighting For Group A1
After a modest two-game winning streak was ended at home by the undefeated league leaders,
egoé Basket Brno is still in a decent position to advance into the top bracket of the Koopertiva NBL for the remainder of the season.
Brno (7-13), which lost to ČEZ Basketball Nymburk, 70-91, is tied with USK Praha (7-13), which just beat Opava, in eighth place with two games left in the regular season. Only the top eight teams will advance into Group A1, which guarantees another year in the league.
Brno may have the lighter remaining schedule. They travel to Ústí nad Labem (11-9) on Saturday and close out the season at home with last-place Kingspan Královští sokoli (2-17) on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m.
USK Praha plays at 11th-place Kolin (5-15) and hosts Nymburk on the final weekend of the regular season.
NH Ostrava (6-12) has two games in hand, and could also challenge for the right to the top group.
Group A1 would guarantee that Brno would stay in the Kooperative NBL next season and it would also provide a competitive schedule, with home and away games against the seven teams above them in the standings. Only three of Brno’s seven wins were against these top teams during the first part of season. The bottom four teams go into Group A2.
Against ČEZ Basketball Nymburk on Saturday, Brno were competitive throughout, but couldn’t get closer than 10 points against the perennial champions.
“In general, I am satisfied because my players fought until the end,“ said Brno head coach Christianos Chougkaz. “It was not easy to play against a better team when we gave them 23 offensive rebounds. But I saw that my players believed in themselves and believed in the team.”
Deremy Geiger was 6 of 9 from both 2-point range and 3-point range for a season-high 30 points. Reggie Keely added 18 points and nine rebounds.
“I hope that we can get one more win and play in the first group after this regular season,” Chougkaz said.
BRNO SPORTS RESULTS
Quick results for various Brno professional and recreational sports for the past week. Home team listed first (when applicable).
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019
— Women’s Basketball (Czech Cup): KP Brno 87, Teamstore Brno 30
— Women’s Basketball (Czech Cup): Žabiny Brno 72, Sokol Nilfisk H. Králové 73
Friday, Jan. 18, 2019
— Hockey: Vítkovice 4, Kometa 1
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019
— Men’s Basketball: egoé Basket Brno 70, ČEZ Basketball Nymburk 91
— Women’s Basketball: KP Brno 72, Teamstore Brno 50
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: Loko Trutnov 61, Žabiny Brno 89
— Hockey: Kometa 0, Liberec 2
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019
— Hockey: Sparta 1, Kometa 4
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).
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019
— Men’s Basketball: SLUNETA Ústí nad Labem X egoé Basket Brno, 6 p.m.
— Women’s Basketball: Žabiny Brno X Slovanka MB, 5 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: Teamstore Brno X SBŠ Ostrava, 5 p.m.
— Hockey: Kometa X Zlín, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019
— Hockey: Kometa X Chomutov, 6 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1, 2019
— Hockey: Plzeň X Kometa, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019
— Men’s Basketball: egoé Basket Brno X Královští sokoli, 6 p.m.
— Women’s Basketball: Sokol Hradec Králové X Teamstore Brno, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019
— Women’s Basketball: SBŠ Ostrava X KP Brno, 4 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.
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