Lokomotiva Kosice

tours Bay Area Colleges

November 4-15 1999


This page is a supplement to our Bay Area Women's Basketball Schedule page.

The professional women's basketball team named Lokomotiva, based in Kosice, Slovakia, toured several West Coast colleges from November 4th to 15th. This page details the teams's roster, schedule, and results. It also contains our reports of five Lokomotiva games that we attended.

Lokomotiva Kosice

The tour was organized by Basketball Travellers, Inc. (BTI), a company that specializes in arranging tours of women's teams between the US and other countries. Lokomotiva was only one of 35 overseas team tours organized by BTI this year.

The following information was provided by BTI and supplemented with information from correspondents in the rec.sports.basketball.women newsgroup.

Team Personnel

Team Contact
Johny Lokaj <lokaj@chelin.chtf.stuba.sk>
Head Coach
Jan Krajnak
Assistant Coach
Vladimir Andreansky
President
Ivan Beninghaus
Manager
Daniel Jendrichovsky
Team Doctor
Branislav Bohus
BTI Tour Coordinator
Brian Hove

Team Roster

No. Name Height Pos. Age

5

Katerina Slezakova

6'2

C

21

6

Hana Eliasova

6'1

F

26

7

lveta Farkasovska

6'1

C

28

8

Tatiana Bacarova

5'7

G

19

9

Stela Vasilova

5'6

G

17

10

Dagmar Hutkova

5'10

F

28

11

Adriana Chamajova

5'10

F

28

13

Zuzana Skvarekova

6'1

C

29

14

Renata Horvathova

6'3

C

30

15

Alena Tebinkova

5'9

F

20

16

Kamila Kazimirova

6'1

C

16

Team History

The club was founded in 1972. The club has competed many years in European Club competitions. In the 1998/99 season, Lokomotiva Kosice competed in the quarterfinals of the Ronchetti Cup.

In the 1998-99 season, Lokomotiva toured some East Coast colleges. We don't have full results for this tour, but their average margin of victory was greater than 20 points. They beat Cornell 70-47, Colgate 81-44, Northeastern 83-57, Monmouth 85-75, and Boston University 76-62.

Schedule and Results for 1999 Tour

Date & Time Home Team Venue Result
Sat 06 Nov University of Washington Seattle Wash 83,
Slovakia 67
Sun 07 Nov University of Oregon Eugene, OR Oregon 74,
Slovakia 59
Mon 08 Nov Oregon State Corvallis, OR OSU 89,
Slovakia 73
Tue 09 Nov 7:00 Santa Clara University Toso SCU 64,
Slovakia 58
Wed 10 Nov 7:30 San Jose State Event Ctr SJSU 58,
Slovakia 88
Fri 12 Nov 7:30 Stanford Maples Stanford 83,
Slovakia 52
Sat 13 Nov 2:00 University of San Francisco War Mem. USF 70,
Slovakia 60
Sun 14 Nov 7:30 Cal Haas Cal 75,
Slovakia 58
Mon 15 Nov University of the Pacific Stockton, CA UOP 66,
Slovakia 56

Lokomotiva Tours the Bay Area

Seeing that Lokomotiva would play games on consecutive days at five of the six schools we cover in our Basketball Schedule page, we decided to attend these games, getting a tour of those schools and seeing some venues we had not yet seen. The following "diaries" were posted to the LasersFans mailing list.

Day 1 -- Tuesday 9 Nov

At Toso pavilion at 6:30 for the 7:00 game between the SCU Broncos and Lokomotiva Kosice. Parking lot more congested than expected, apparently due to football practice in adjoining field. Attendance is light (124, per the box score) and nobody's at the door to take our [season] ticket stubs. We take our favorite seats, on the center stripe one row behind the official scorekeeper. (Once, Maples was like this...)

Kosice (we later learn from the internet) has lost the three games coming into this one, at UW, Oregon, and Oregon State. The Slovaks are mostly tall but slender, and several are wearing braces or tape, and one is wearing a nose-guard.

The Broncos start sloppy, and at 3 minutes SCU has committed more fouls than points. Kosice is in the bonus before they commit their first foul. However, they quickly get into the spirit and the final total for fouls is Kosice 21, SCU 26, for a pretty slow game.

The Broncos lead by a few at the half. In the third quarter they put on a run and eventually get 16 ahead. Kosice whittles that down but never gets closer than 6. Marian comments on the Broncos' excellent ball-handling, they move fast, pass with confidence, and commit few unforced turnovers. It is quite noticeable that Kosice has no long-range attack; leaving the game I couldn't remember their even trying a 3-pt shot, but per the box score, they were 2-3.

Final SCU 65, Lokomotiva Kosice 58, the Slovaks' 4th loss.

Venue notes: Toso has easy road access, easy parking, rather dim lighting, is quite chilly on a winter night (the fabric roof) and has a weak, muddy sound system. The seats are all metal bleachers, although there are backs on the lower east section. The concession stand has a rather limited menu, but at least it was open.

Day 2 -- Wednesday 10 November

We're a bit late getting to the Event Center and walk in during the Slovakian national anthem. The familiar blue seats and loud music cause a momentary wave of nostalgia. The Spartans are rebuilding from somewhere below ground level, with a new coach and mostly new players. We expect Lokomotiva to get a fairly easy win, but both teams start slow and sloppy and there is not as much difference apparent early on.

One reason may have been that both of Kosice's designated guards were benched with unspecified injuries, including Tatiana Bacarova, who started at point yesterday and played most of that game. Kosice commits several unforced turnovers, passes that go to nobody or over the receivers' heads. However, the Spartans do even more of this kind of thing.

Both teams reach the double-bonus in fouls in both halves of the game (total fouls: Kosice 26, Spartans 27), with the result that this was an even slower, uglier game than yesterday. Kosice pulled away steadily through the second half, and the main interest was watching them reach a 20-point lead, then a 30-point lead. 3 Kosice players foul out with about 5 minutes still to play. This leaves no-one on their bench except the 2 injured guards. We wonder what will happen if another one fouls out, but that doesn't happen. By now, Kosice can probably handle the Spartans easily with just 4 players.

Quite noticeable was that Kosice suddenly sprouted out with the 3-point attack that had been missing yesterday, ending with 4 of 9 tries. Clearly the Broncos' perimeter defense was better than the Spartans'.

The attendance of 249 (Marian wryly comments that that probably includes both teams) included some vocal and enthusiastic fans who sat behind the SJSU bench and cheered hard throughout.

We chatted with Etheridge (possibly the Spartan's most loyal fan) after the game. He says that he is not discouraged, that the Spartans have nowhere to go but up. He also tells us that the team spirit is noticeably better than last year -- the team was spirited and enthusiastic and played hard for the entire game.

Final Lokomotiva Kosice 88, SJSU 58.

Venue notes: The Event Center is familiar to Lasers fans. The parking is difficult to get into, and the 10th St. garage has the world's most irritating speed bumps. In the building the lighting is much brighter than at Toso, the sound system far better, and the building was pleasantly warm. The seats are comfortable plastic chairs with arms. One concession stand was open and offered quite a few more choices than the one at Toso.

Day 3 -- Friday 12 November

The Slovaks looked tired from the get-go; poor things, this was their sixth game in seven days. The Cardinal, meanwhile, has had only practice since playing the USA team 10 days back, and came out boisterous and full of energy. Before the game started, we agreed that if Stanford didn't win by at least 20, we'd be disappointed. In fact, they led by 19 at the half.

Donaphin, Enghusen, and Dimson, especially, played strong. The Cardinal's vigor is apparent in the rebound count: Lokomotiva 24, Stanford 54 (!) -- of which Donaphin alone had 14.

Lokomotiva tried to slow them down with a swarming low-post defense. Many times they collapsed a trio of defenders on the Cardinal with the ball. With six madly waving arms it looks like the attacker is drowning in a kelp forest. The surrounded player, lacking room to dribble, can only spin on the pivot foot and desperately try to shove the ball out between the bodies of the defenders. Several times this resulted in a turnover. Somewhat more often it resulted in a foul on a player in blue, with the result that total fouls were Lokomotiva 29, Stanford 18. However, this time only one Slovak fouled out.

Final score, Stanford 83, Kosice 52.

Attendance, a rather sparse (for Maples) 2,139 -- but probably the biggest crowd Lokomotiva has seen on the trip, unless the Huskies or Ducks managed more. Stanford gave this game the full treatment: the band, the Dollies, the new Tree (an arborial wonderment: a tree with a codpiece!), shooting contests, a halftime show by Starlite Express.

Venue notes: Maples parking (at the Track House) is as easy to access as at SCU (although it can be a long walk back on a rainy night). The light level is good. The sound system has been tweaked since the game last week, when some of Betty Ann Boeving's announcements were inaudible. Now it is as crisp and audible as at the Event Center. The seats are mostly backless bleachers, except for the lucky few long-timers (like Arlene & Clara!) who have comfy loge seats. Two snack bars were open plus carts selling lemon slush, soft pretzels, and ice cream.

Day 4 -- Saturday 13 November

This was our first-ever visit to War Memorial Gym on the USF campus -- probably. David thinks maybe that once, around 1962, he might have attended a USF Dons game there. The building can hardly have changed much since; it's an antique, although it is nicely maintained.

Three nice little things happened before the start of this game. First, as we were dithering in the lobby looking for the ticket window, a big jolly man said "Hey, you guys want tickets? Here!" and handed us a pair of tickets. We think he must have had 4 season seats and only needed two that day. Not only that, the tix were for "gold" seats, which are special chairs along the sideline. But we didn't want to be quite that exposed, either to view or to stampeding players.

Attendance was (sigh) light -- not listed in the Examiner box score but somewhere around 300 total -- and we could sit about anywhere, so we sat in the same place as at Toso, two rows up behind the scorekeeper. Shortly, a cheerful young man who travels with the Lokomotiva team, and with whom we'd exchanged a few words at prior games, came over and gave us official Lokomotiva lapel pins!

Then, during warmups, we looked down and who did we see as head referee, but Larry Shepherd, familiar from many Lasers' games. Dunno if it was Larry's influence or not, but there were noticeably fewer fouls called in this game than in Lokomotiva's prior ones.

Lokomotiva started fairly strong and played USF even, ending the first half at USF 29, Kosice 26. However, the Slovaks had only eight effective players while USF has a horde of them, 16 roster players in all. The Nepfels, USF's married co-coaches, used their numeric advantage quite heartlessly (or so it seemed to us designated Lokomotiva fans). They subbed often, putting a steady stream of fresh bodies in to bang against the Slovaks.

Late in the first half, Lokomotiva center Zuzana Skvarekova took a hard fall in the end-zone and limped to the bench. When the rest of the team went to the locker at the half, she stayed on the bench nursing an ice-pack and looking so miserable that we went down to talk to her. Her English was minimal, but the chap who'd pinned us translated. Marian tried to get across that we appreciated how hard she played and wished her well.

In the second half, Lokomotiva bore down and pulled even, 34-34 with 15:00 to go. USF put on a 6-pt run, then Lokomotiva pulled even again at 41-41, but USF hit two 3-pointers to Kosice's one, and pulled ahead to stay. This was a tight, exciting game for a while, with Lokomotiva trailing by only 51-48 with 6 minutes to go. We were really impressed with their gallantry, they were still hurling their bodies after loose balls and running hard. Then in the last few minutes the steam seemed to go out of the boiler and USF ran off with it, ending up at 70-60.

Venue Notes: War Memorial Gym is easy to get to, but parking is another question entirely; there is only on-street parking. On a Saturday afternoon the best we could find was several blocks away, and that was lucky. Next time, we'll take the bus -- #31-Balboa runs a block away.

The arena is small, holding fewer than 3000 people. About 1000 of the seats are comfortable plastic chairs with arms. The lighting is adequate and the sound system is good. The building is squeaky clean with fresh paint in the lobby. The single concession stand is in the basement, down a single flight of stairs. The menu was limited, but the prices were good: only $2 for a "Don Dog" and $1 for candy.

Day 5 -- Sunday 14 November

Our first visit to the new Haas Pavilion, formerly Harmon Gym. The Haas Pavilion was created by puffing up the old gym higher and wider, sort of like a huge souffle. According to the Cal women's basketball brochure, seating was "increased from 6,500 to 12,300, and there's not a bad seat in the house." Well, not unless you are subject to altitude sickness -- some of the new seats are wayyyyy up there. Interestingly, the architects retained a lot of the old gym: its wooden doors, and the facade over them with 1930's-style heroic worker figures, and even the wooden handrails from the old banisters grafted onto the new staircases. There are some odd little jogs and stairsteps between seat sections, where the graft between old and new seating isn't quite regular.

The place is not quite finished, either. The lobbies smell of carpet adhesive and fresh plaster, and no scoreboards have been installed, except for two tiny little supplementary ones up in the rafters.

We'd expected another big production like the Stanford game Friday, where they'd rolled out the band, mascot, and other entertainment. Nunh-uh. No band, no mascot, little hoopla for a crowd that was well under 500 in all.

As at USF, Lokomotiva started strong and led by a couple for a few minutes. All 10 of the Lokomotiva players, including Zuzana and both of the guards appeared to be healthy again. The game was still tied at 23 with 8 minutes to go in the first half. About that time we heard Marianne Stanley yelling to her point guard, "Every time they score they're 1-3-1!" We don't have a clue what she meant, but it must have meant something to the Cal players, because about that time they began to take the game away. It was Cal 45, Kosice 36 at the half. Lokomotiva chugged along, running gradually slower, and the game ended 75-58 for Cal.

Impressive among the Cal players was #4 Kenya Corley, a 5-8 guard with strength, speed, and a take-it-to-the-hole mentality.

Venue notes: Parking is actually not too bad (see the directions in our venues page) The lower three or four thousand seats are very comfy padded chairs with arms. The lighting is so bright it could give you a suntan. (This would be one gym where you could get good pictures with an ordinary camera.)

However, the sound system, at least at present, is just awful. The new building has a flat metal roof, and echos bounce between it and the floor, so the announcer sounds as if he was shouting down a well. There was hardly an intelligible word on the PA all night. We had a hard time understanding the players' names even with the lineup sheet in hand. Possibly this will be improved as work continues.

We didn't test the concessions, having had a filling supper at Fat Apples just before the game, but the menus appeared to be the usual lineup of dogs, red rope, popcorn and sodas.