Winners by 25 points in the opening game on the back of a dominant rebounding and defensive display, the Opals were outmuscled in the second and final game of the series by a strong Czech front line that included four Olympians.
Czech forward Eva Viteckova led all scorers with 19 points while Beijing Olympian Rohanee Cox top scored for Australia with 18 points and received good support from Hollie Grima who added 11 points and 7 rebounds.
The loss was Australia’s third on the road from five games; it fell to China 2-1 on the Asian leg of the tour.
Australia’s rebounding dominance in the opening game continued this morning as the Opals worked hard for a 23-19 first quarter lead.
The Czech Republic responded with a barrage of long range shooting in the second quarter and by half time the hosts led by six points, 44-38.
The lead was extended to ten points at the end of the third quarter, 69-59, and the Czechs were unrelenting in the final period to extend the margin to 16 points at the final buzzer.
Despite shooting a perfect 19-from-19 free throws for the match, the Opals struggled to score for extended periods throughout the extremely physical encounter.
Australia won the rebound count 35-29 but it was a far cry from the 53-15 drubbing the Opals dished out in the opening game.
The Opals depart for France tomorrow to contest the Euro Essonne tournament in Masse, south of Paris, against Hungary, the Czech Republic and the host nation before departing for Australia on June 1.
Quarter by quarter:
1. AUS 23 CZE 19
H. CZE 44 AUS 38 (25-15)
3. CZE 69 AUS 59 (25-21)
F. CZE 86 AUS 70 (17-11)
CZECH REPUBLIC 86 (E Viteckova 19, K Zohnova 16, T Peckova 12) bt
AUSTRALIA 70 (R Cox 18, H Grima 11, J O’Hea 10)
at Rosnička Hall, Brno, Czech Republic.
Series tied 1-1
Photo courtesy of Kangaroo Photo