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National Team Coach Cites Mental Issues After Defeat

The head coach of the Hungarian national team spoke despondently about mental difficulties following a disappointing performance.
"We played nicely and cohesively in the first half; then we slowed down and beat ourselves. We didn't move, we were unable to pass the ball under the hoop, we lost our rhythm, and became uncertain. The consequence was that they kept coming at us, and from that point on, it was very difficult. We tried to refresh the team, but were unsuccessful," said the head coach, visibly demoralized.

The coach explained how challenging it is to calmly evaluate the situation just minutes after a defeat and suggested that, in theory, they should be proud to have fought closely with world-class opponents.

"But we should not be proud of failing to qualify for the Olympics because it's terrible. The opportunity was in our hands; we just had to seize it, and we couldn’t. The Spaniards' comfortable style rubbed off on us, and we reacted poorly to their changes. We were shackled, our legs and arms restrained; we were not physically tired, this was a problem of a mental nature," stated Norbert Székely.

Bernadett Határ began by stating that one should not start a half in this spirit.

"After the break, we didn’t want to run at all, they switched to zone defense, which we couldn’t respond to that's what happened. I'm very upset. You could say that I missed the last shot again, but we should have never been in that position. A 22-point lead should not be surrendered, I don’t know what happened, we'll learn from it. However, the price was expensive this time, and that price was qualifying for the Olympics," she said, struggling to hold back tears to MTI (Hungarian News Agency).

Nina Aho felt that this is a game everyone will remember for the rest of their lives as a learning experience.

"This isn’t going to happen anytime soon; everyone needs to process it. I'm going to stay positive; I believe we belong there, whether it's in Paris or the time after that. We had to take this step; we didn't make it. I know the entire squad will learn from this and will place this tournament in their minds and hearts in a way that can only propel us forward," she added.


SPAIN – HUNGARY 73–72 (19–24, 8–22, 23–18, 23–8)

FINAL RESULTS OF THE OLYMPIC QUALIFIER: 1. Japan 5 points, 2. Spain 5 points, 3. Canada, 4. Hungary 4 points

The top three teams qualified for Paris.

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