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Lubor Blazek (CZE)
London 2012 Olympics (women), UK. Head Coach
28/09/2012

PRAGUE (EuroBasket Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - Lubor Blazek had wanted a better result than seventh place at the London Games.

Having led the Czech national team on a dream run to the Final of the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women, he had every reason to believe that a place on the podium was a strong possibility in Britain.

Hana Horakova, the MVP of the silver-medal winning side at the World Championship, was back in the squad after taking a year off from national team duty and with her were most of the players that had reached Semi-Finals of last year's EuroBasket Women.

Despite a sputtering start that included defeats to China and Turkey in their opening Preliminary Round games, the Czechs won two of their next three contests.

Victories over Croatia and Angola sandwiched a defeat to the United States, and Blazek’s team progressed to the Quarter-Finals.

Once there, they very nearly upset France.

But Les Bleues underlined their status as one of the leading sides in the international game by coming back from an 11-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to post a 71-68 victory over the Czechs.

Blazek had been poised for a sense of elation but instead had to cope with the sting of elimination.

The French had ended the Czech Republic’s medal hopes.

The Czech Basketball Federation believe Blazek is still the best man to lead the team next year at the EuroBasket Women in France, when they will attempt to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.

They have told Blazek that if his team is successful and qualifies for Turkey, he will remain as coach in that tournament as well.

"I was approached by the federation," Blazek said.

"I considered that possibility.

"It's interesting work, which I enjoy, so I accepted the offer."

While there is some uncertainty about the make-up of the squad for next year's EuroBasket Women, Blazek is optimistic that the national side can be successful.

The draw for the tournament was held a week ago in Paris and the Czechs ended up in Group D with Lithuania, Croatia and Belarus.

While saying the opponents will not be easy, Blazek said: “I could not have chosen a better group.”

“If I could choose to do so, I wouldn’t make a change.”

FIBA

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