BRATISLAVA. The finals of the women’s basketball Nike extraliga have the same composition again after a year. MBK Ružomberok and Piešťanské Čajky will meet in the 2021/2022 season in the battle for the league title.
The players from Rožomberok will play for the fourth trophy in a row for the winner, the team from Piešťany will try to turn the sixth final participation into winning the most valuable metal. The streak of three wins starts on Saturday, April 16 at 4 p.m. on the Ružombersk Koniarna.
The paths to the final were identical in both cases. As the reigning champion, Ružomberok has not yet lost in the play-offs, in the quarter-finals it beat BK ŠK UMB Banská Bystrica smoothly 2:0 for matches, and it did the same process in the semi-finals with the second team from the city under Urpín – BK ŠKP 08, in the battle for 3rd place sent to matches after the result 3:0.
Long wait for the match
“Personally I am not in favor of such long breaks between individual play-off series. However, at this time this year it suited us well, we had enough health problems after the semi-final series. We mainly used this time to finish everything.” , Ružomberok coach Juraj Suja told TASR.
Piešťany also did not find a winner in the elimination round, they finished the series with Slovan Bratislava in the shortest possible time (2:0 for the matches) and also led the Young Angels Košice team without a single loss (3:0 for the matches) .
“It’s been a long time, actually we’ve been standing and waiting for the game for two weeks. But again, it came in handy, we were able to rest a bit and regain our health after the minor injuries the girls had suffered. After the half final series. But we are getting impatient and we are waiting for matches,” Čajok coach Peter Jankovič told TASR.
For the third time in a row (they ended the season early in 2020 due to the corona virus), the final has an identical composition. The rivals know each other well, they meet regularly not only in the league, but also in the final of the Slovakian Cup, and this year they also played in the Federal Cup.
“Piešťany is a high quality team, led by a high quality coach. It was no coincidence that they finished in second place after the long term part and reached the final of the Slovak Cup. They managed to win us three times this season to beat, for us it is a team that has our respect and in Slovakia it is the toughest possible opponent in the final.
The 3-3 record says it all. The series can go either way. Just because it was 3-3 doesn’t mean it will be for 5 games. Nothing that has happened so far is valid. We can predict some things, but basically we’re going with a clean slate at 0:0. I think this is a good invitation for the fans to fill both rooms”, thinks the helmsman “Ruže”.
MBK Ružomberok’s female basketball players won the Slovak Cup. (Author: TASR)
The head-to-head duels between the opponents are balanced this season, but the main victories are on the side of the champion. Against Čajká, Ružomberok managed to reach the final of the Slovak Cup, while Piešťany took bronze in the Federal Cup.
“In the final, the team that has finished in first place after the regular season, the winner of the Slovak Cup and successfully represents the Slovak basketball in the FIBA European Cup, is waiting for us. The quality is definitely on their side , they are a big favorite to win the title.
The team is expertly composed, with a decent rotation and an experienced coach. It will be very challenging. We must pay attention to their strengths. We know where their weaknesses and strengths are, we will try to eliminate them.
I firmly believe that we will be ready and fight for success. Even if the record is 3-3, I don’t think it means anything. The play-off is a very different competition. There will be pressure on both sides, even if it is greater on Ružomberok’s side, as it is expected of them.
We are allowed to surprise and we will do everything we can to be successful. Those matches gave us a mirror of what we can and cannot do. I’m happy that we won the season with them, but that should be quickly forgotten. It will be a very different game on Saturday,” said Jankovič.
Suja: We don’t feel pressure anymore
Ružomberok’s players have had an extremely successful season, which started with promotion to the FIBA European Cup (Eurocup) play-offs and a victory in the Slovak Cup.
The double win and the possibility to increase the number of championship titles in Košice (they won 15 golds) is the main motivation for the team around coach Suja: “As the reigning champions, we don’t feel any greater pressure on ourselves.
Whether we are masters or not is in the past and now we live in the present. I think there’s equal pressure on both. We also put ourselves without pressure, we are athletes, we are competitive and we always want to get the most out of ourselves.
It would of course be a nice point after a very successful season as far as we are concerned. Well, we don’t look at it that way. What we have achieved is the past. We enjoyed it, but at the moment we are focused on the final fights. We are already looking forward to it.”
Basketball players of the chaky club Piešťanské. (Author: TASR)
The Seagulls came in third in the Federal Cup, second in the Slovak Cup, and in the league final they would like to finally break the string of five ends with silver around their necks. “There will definitely be some pressure on them as defending champions.
On the other hand, I think they are already so experienced that they can handle it. The first match will be very important, sometimes it can show a lot. I will say it in an unsportsmanlike way, I wish they would have the utmost pressure and tie their hands. Let the girls battle it out on the field and show who’s better.
Throughout the season, both teams tried to make the best possible starting position. Ružomberok managed better, it has the advantage of a home environment. Sixth participation in the final for Piešťanské Čajky, certainly Piešťany also deserves to take the championship title.
I’m not saying it will be this season, but we will definitely do everything we can to make it happen now. What can help us achieve our goal is simply that we put more effort into it than our opponent. We have to do it like this, because they have the home advantage.
It is necessary to get to the bottom of your physical and mental strength. You have to fight, even if you can’t. I believe in my team and I will do everything I can to be satisfied at the end,” said coach Piešťan.
The final series of the Women’s Nike Extraliga will be played for three winning matches, the name of the winner of the 2021/2022 season will be announced by April 30th.
The schedule of the Women’s Nike Extra League final
/it is played for three winning matches/
- Saturday, April 16 at 4 p.m.: MBK Ružomberok – Piešťany Seagulls
- Wednesday, April 20 at 4:00 PM: Piešťany Seagulls – MBK Ružomberok
- Saturday, April 23 at 5 p.m.: MBK Ružomberok – Piešťany Seagulls
- possible 4th game – Wednesday April 27 at 6:00 PM: Piešťany Seagulls – MBK Ružomberok
- possible 5th game – Saturday, April 30 at 5:00 PM: MBK Ružomberok – Piešťany Seagulls