12 - 20
August 2023
27 Vit Krejci (CZE)
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OPQT'S: Krejci carries Czech Republic past Estonia; Israel dominate North Macedonia

GLIWICE/ TALLINN (Poland / Estonia) - The opening day in Tallinn delivered some great basketball as Czech Republic beat Estonia in a nail-biter and Israel reigned supreme against North Macedonia. 

Here's your wrap of how the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments got underway in the Estonian capital.

Czech Republic survive against the hosts

Czech Republic found a way to entertain itself and prevail even without some big hitters present and also considering Vojtech Hruban’s zero points in their 77-74 opening day triumph against Estonia.

The main reason was a baller who is still only  23 years of age - with Vit Krejci stepping up with a flurry of ice-cold threes as he sunk 6 of 8 from deep en-route to 20 points.

He was assisted by Tomas Kyzlink who was perfect from the field in the first portion of the game and with 16 points by the end. Meanwhile Martin Kriz, made sure he had no enemies under the basket.

Artur Konontsuk and Mikk Jurkatamm combined for 29 points in defeat, for an  Estonia team that can still be proud as they fought until the very end. Next up, the Czech Republic will face Israel, while North Macedonia will battle with Estonia.

Sorkin stars as Israel sail past North Macedonia

What better way to begin a possible long road to the 2024 Olympic Games than with a crushing victory? That’s what Israel is looking to find out after Ariel Beit-Halahmy’s national team got the upper hand 86-65 against North Macedonia.

Roman Sorkin starred for Israel to take them to victory

Despite 22 points from  TJ Shorts trying to keep the red-and-yellow squad afloat, the deeper level of Israeli talent emerged as time passed - while they also enjoyed a pivotal 25-13 run in the third quarter.

Roman Sorkin absolutely dismantled his opponents with an all-around MVP performance of 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Yam Madar took care of business from the point.  There was also an important contribution from Yiftah Ziv, who ended up with 18 points.

Top Performers

Vit Krejci of Czech Republic shared the highest performance efficiency valuation of the day at 24. He gave his team with win with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and some big-time daggers.

Roman Sorkin of Israel matched that efficiency with a similarly eye-catching 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Yiftah Ziv played a great cameo for Israel. He  always did the right thing at the right time, while also going close to a double-double with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

Oz Blayzer made it a three-punch job for Israel. He as right behind his teammates - even if was in a more silent but impressive mode with a handy and efficient 9 points and 5 boards.

Finally, TJ Shorts showed why he was the 2023 Basketball Champions League MVP and was the last to surrender for North Macedonia, putting up a 22 point effort.

Photo of the Day

Epitomizing the uber intense clash between Estonia and Czech Republic, it was super competitive even in mid-air. While standout star  Vit Krejci showed he was not just about getting buckets for the victorious Czech side. 

Highlight of the Day

Czech Republic enjoyed their opening day success in Tallinn against Estonia and were helped by this throw down by Ondrej Sehnal.