Czech Republic qualifies for Olympics behind MVP Satoranský


Tomáš Satoranský is balling out on the world's grandest stage.

On Sunday, the Chicago Bulls guard capped a stellar effort in the qualifying round for the Tokyo Olympics by posting 12 points, three assists and two steals in the Czech Republic's 97-72 win over Greece, sealing the country's first ever trip to the Games.

Satoranský averaged 16 points 5.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds in the Czech Republic's four-game run, leading the team in scoring and minutes and earning MVP honors for the Victoria, BC qualifying tournament.

In the semifinals of that tourney, the Czechs also upset a stacked Canada squad in overtime thanks to a last-second, banked-in jumper by Satoranský:

"It doesn't matter how I play individually," Satoranský told reporters after the Greece win, per FIBA's website. "Obviously it's nice, but we came here just to qualify for the Olympics."

Added teammate Blake Schilb after the Canada contest: "He's (Satoranský) a great leader, he's our captain, and the energy he provides for us, you can't put some type of notion on that... It's something that you need on every team."

Satoranský performed well for his home country during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China as well, averaging 15.5 points, 8.5 assists and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 48.1 percent from 3-point range as the Czechs advanced to the quarterfinals before being ousted by Australia.

Now, he and his countrymen will get a chance to assert themselves in the Olympics. The Czech Republic joins Group A, where they'll face more stiff competition in Iran, France and the United States.

Zach LaVine is, of course, making the trip to Tokyo with the U.S. team, so he and Satoranský will square off on July 31 at 7 a.m. CT.

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