iurbentia Bilbao Basket got closer to become the first team to reach the Last 16 round in Group H by downing CEZ Nymburk 79-92 on the road in Pardubice, the Czech Republic on Tuesday night. iurbentia improved to 3-0 and will qualify to the next round if it downs Nymburk when both teams face again in Bilbao next week. Meanwhile, Nymburk dropped to 1-2 and needs and has crucial games against Buducnost m:tel and Hemofarm Stada in early 2009. Janis Blums led the winners with 25 points on 4-for-4 three-pointers and 9-for-10 free throws. Luke Recker added 14 while Quincy Lewis had 13 for Bilbao. Goran Jagodnik led Nymburk with 21 points. Ladislav Sokolovsky added 15, Justin Gray and Blake Schilb each had 12 while Arthur Lee got 10 for the hosts. Marko Banic and Javi Salgado took over late in the first quarter for a 22-31 Bilbao lead after 10 minutes. Sokolovsky, Lee and Jagodnik allowed Nymburk to tie the game, 44-44, neat halftime. Renaldas Seibutis, Recker, Blums and Salgado stepped up after the break to give Bilbao a 63-70 margin after 30 minutes. Blums and Lewis combined for all points in a 0-11 run that broke the game open, 63-81, and Bilbao never looked back.
A three-point play by Banic got Bilbao going while a layup by Seibutis gave his team a 0-5 edge. Schilb and Lee stepped up for Nymburk but Recker and Blums fueled a 0-7 run to keep Bilbao ahead at 5-12. Jagodnik followed one from downtown with free throws but Blums and Drago Pasalic sank back-to-back triples for an eight-point Bilbao edge, 10-18. Three-pointers by Jagodnik and Gray got Nymburk within 20-22, but Salva Guardia and Banic scored inside while Salgado hit a triple to make it a nine-point game, 22-31, after 10 minutes. Sokolovsky and Fred Weis traded layups early in the second quarter while Salgado struck again from downtown to give Bilbao its first double-digit lead, 26-36. Nymburk did not panic, however, as Schilb dunked it, Petr Benda scored off a steal and Lee followed a triple with consecutive baskets that made Bilbao call timeout at 37-39. Michal Kremen dunked it, Jagodnik stayed on fire while a three-pointer by Sokolovsky tied the game at 44-44. Blums sank free throws to restore a 44-46 Bilbao edge at halftime.
Recker followed a layup with a triple right after the break but Sokolovsky and Jagodnik answered from downtown in a 7-0 run that tied the game again, 51-51. Seibutis and Recker stepped up right in time to fuel a 0-8 Bilbao run, good for a 51-59 margin. Jagodnik buried another three-pointer and soon added a layup, as Bilbao struggled to score late in the third quarter. Free throws by Kremen and another triple by Sokolovsky brought the hosts back to life, 61-62. Guardia and Blums made free throws while Salgado sank a three-pointer for a 63-70 Bilbao margin after 30 minutes. Lewis nailed a triple and followed Blums' shot from downtown with a layup-plus-foul that broke the game open, 63-79, early in the fourth quarter. Nymburk went scoreless for 3 minutes while Blums capped a game-breaking 0-11 Bilbao run with free throws. Gray tried to change things with a three-pointer but Bilbao stayed focused through an unstoppable Lewis. Everything was said and done already, as Bilbao Basket left the court as one of the few teams unbeaten in the Eurocup so far this season and closer to the Last 16 round.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008