Pamesa Valencia shook off a pesky effort by visiting Artland Dragons to pull away to a solid 84-67 victory and remain undefeated in Group G on Tuesday. What's more, Pamesa's 3-0 record is two victories better than any other team in the group, meaning that a win in its next game will clinch its place in the Last 16. Newly-signed forward Matt Nielsen paced the winners with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 assists. Shammond Williams followed with 16 points and 8 assists, while Ruben Douglas matched his points and Rafa Martinez hit 4 three-pointers early to finish with 14 points. Artland dropped to 1-2, the same record as both FMP and Fortitudo. Adam Hess was the big gun for the guests, with 19 points, while Darren Fenn added 15 and Drew Neitzel 10. Artland remained within striking distance, only 6 points behind, late in the third quarter, but Pamesa's depth proved too much in the fourth.
A pair of three-pointers by Martinez and one by Shammond Williams boosted Pamesa to a quick 13-7 advantage, but Darren Fenn was already keeping Artland close from downtown. When Hess scored his first basket, the visitors were within 13-9, and his second made it 15-13. Ermal Kuqo picked up Pamesa then before Martinez drilled another triple and Nielsen dunked at 22-15. Hess willed Artland back by following Drew Neitzel's three-pointer with one of his own to close the quarter 24-23. Hess was not to be denied as he opened the second quarter by putting the visitors in front for the first time, 24-25. The lead traded teams for a couple minutes until a three-point play by Williams and another Nielsen shot inside had Pamesa out ahead 33-27. Only free throws fell for almost 3 minutes after that until Albert Miralles added a basket and Nielsen another to close the quarter with the hosts sitting pretty at 42-30.
Pamesa's advantage hit a high of 47-30 soon after halftime as Martinez drilled his fourth three-point shot. But he was answered well by Chad Prewitt, whose hit a pair from the arc around a dunk by Hess. When Fenn scored twice inside, Artland had a 2-12 run and was within 49-42. Williams stopped Pamesa's slide with a big triple, but Hess would not give up, making twin layups to pull the guests within 52-46. Ruben Douglas appeared then for Pamesa with a three-point basket-plus-free throw, while his and Nielsen's free throws established a new double-digit lead, before Dirk Madrich's triple for Atland set a 59-51 scoreboard after three quarters. Every time Pamesa reached for double digits, as when Miralles scored to open the final quarter, Artland responded, as with Neitzel's triple at 61-54. Douglas answered now for the hosts, however, with a blast from the courner and a steal-assist combo to Williams that made it 66-54. Artland could not keep up the pace after that, however, as Williams and Nielsen strung together 3 layups before Douglas shot again from the arc and the lead hit 75-60 and Pamesa spent the rest of the time protecting its lead.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008