Dramatic final series in the Czech Republic climaxed in October. While the women’s title was taken by the defending Žraloci Ledenice, men’s competition witnessed how a new champion – Tempo Praha – was born.
Men's National Champion: Tempo Praha changes history
It took 34 years to bring National Champion title back to Tempo Praha. It was back in times of Czechoslovakia. The last year’s season looked promising for the squad when they finished first after the first phase of the league, they were the strongest team entering the play-offs, but finished third in the end. However, another story was written in 2018. Tempo started off calm, slowly increasing their performance. With Marek Joska in the pitching circle, a Czech National Team freshman, Tempo became a tough competitor. The squad surprised at the Men’s European Super Cup by placing fourth (the best of the Czech participants) with no pick-up players. Tempo faced the two-time Czech Champion from the last seasons – Hippos Havlíčkův Brod – in the best-of-five final series. They won the Championship title on the day of celebrations of their club’s 55th birthday at their home field. Tempo defeated Hippos 3:2 (game results – 1:3, 5:2, 1:0, 2:5, 2:1).
Women's National Champion: Žraloci Ledenice win for the second consecutive time
It wasn’t a clear and direct way to the title for Ledenice. Their ace pitcher Veronika Pecková spent a major part of the season in the professional league in Taiwan, so her team in the Czech Republic had to fight hard for their spot in the play-offs. Peckova returned to her teammates for the elimination games. And she was needed badly. Ledenice made it to the final series through Eagles Praha by 3:0. Ledenice’s final competitor was Snails Kunovice - a team that squeezed in among the play-off teams at the very last possible moment and just kept improving since then. Snails surprisingly eliminated strong Joudrs in the semifinal with the theme “Don’t stop believing”. Lead by Veronika Peckova and Martina Lackner, Žraloci Ledenice were awarded the Czech Champions title, just like last year. (Results 4:0, 9:8, 10:3).