In the first round match of the Last 16, Vive Tauron Kielce took the 32:28 victory against Meshkov Brest and has gained a 4-goal-advantage before the return match in Kielce.
Both teams started by going neck and neck; Brest had very little problems with breaking through Kielce defense, while the team from Poland showed well-thought-out attacks. Kielce had one-goal edge but their mistake allowed Belorussians to take the lead. Polish defense was far from perfect and Meshkov players often managed to throw from the 6-meter line practically untroubled; they also often looked for their pivot, ex-Kielce player, Rastko Stojković. Kielce were backed by saves of their goalkeeper which was pretty important for them because in 17. minute Pavel Atman gave his team 3-goal-lead (10:7). Sławomir Szmal made up for his mates’ mistakes and mostly thanks to his saves they were able to catch up. Before 20. minute Mateusz Kus was sent off the court for two minutes for the second time and coach Duyshebaev decided Michał Jurecki would replace his mate in the defence. The defence started playing a little better and Kielce were able to fight for a better result but even though they equalised at 12:12 with 2 minutes to go, the hosts perfectly took advantage of their opponents unsuccessful attempts and Stojković gave his team 2-goal-advantage at the break (14:12).
Meshkov: Pesić, Patotski, Charapenka – Atman 7, Babiczew 1, Baranow 1, Kamyszyk, Kristopans 4, Kulak, Nikulenkow 3, Razgor 1, Szumak 1, Szyłowicz 4, Stojković 5, Tiumencew 1, Vukić.
Vive: Szmal, Sego – Aguinagalde, Bielecki 8, Buntić, Chrapkowski 1, Cupić 3, Jachlewski, Jurecki 10, Kus, Lijewski 2, Reichmann 1, Strlek 3, Zorman 4.
Unfortunately for Meshkov, they didn’t begin the second half as well as they finished the first one. Despite good defence, they didn’t do too well in attack and Kielce, mostly thanks to Jurecki, took the lead at 15:14. Within space of five minutes Brest lost Atman and Shylovich for two minutes but they still were able to give Kielce a hard time by good defending, even being shorthanded. Once again the teams trod a fine line and once again it was Brest who did better and took the lead. In the 43. minute Kielce lost Kus for his third 2-minute suspension but it did not disturb Kielce, on the contrary actually – with ten minutes to go, they took 3-goal lead and kept scoring. The hero of Kielce was Jurecki who was excellent especially in the attack. Meshkov used the last moments to reduce the gap of 5 and in the last second they scored for 28:31 which seemed to be the final result but Tobias Reichmann hit the buzzer beater and Kielce are coming back home with 4 goals of advantage.
TEXT: MARTYNA USNARSKA