Iurbentia Bilbao Basket secured its passport for the Last 16 on Tuesday night as it defeated CEZ Nymburk by 93-72 at home in Bilbao, Spain. The win lifts Bilbao to a perfect 4-0 and earns the Spanish team a Group H berth, while Nymburk drops to 1-3 and ties with Buducnost for third place as the two next games will prove decisive as Hemofarm will try to maintain its 2-2 as valid to advance. Bilbao was always ahead and even managed to get a 21-point lead after 30 minutes, 69-48. However, Nymburk heroically reacted with a 2-13 to start the last period, but it fell short and the hosts managed to have a last scoring run to seal the deal. Renaldas Seibutis led the winners with 21 points, Javi Salgado added 19 and Marko Banic posted 16 and 8 boards. For Nymburk, Goran Jagodnik had 18 points, Arthur Lee added 12 and Michal Kremen had 10.
Drago Pasalic and Marko Banic opened with baskets for a starting 4-0 Iurbentia Bilbao edge. Michal Kremen finally got CEZ Nymburk started with a layup for 7-2 and soon, triples by Arthur Lee and Kremen himself gave the guests their first lead of the game, 11-12. Banic and Predrag Savovic started a new burst for Bilbao however making it 17-12 in minute 8. Two straight turnovers didn't allow Nymburk to score again until minute 10 when Lee closed the first period with a bucket for 17-14. Bilbao opened the second quarter with a 7-2 run commanded by Savovic's three as the team had gone scoreless for almost three full minutes. Matej Venta scored a free throw for Nymburk but Javi Salgado stepped up with five points of his own for 29-17, forcing the guests' timeout. Five straight points by Goran Jagodnik seemed to reactivate Nymburk again, but Renaldas Seibutis kept Bilbao's scoring going. Radek Necas and Lee hit free throws to make it 37-29 as the game reached the halftime mark.
Lee and Jagodnik were Nymburk's offensive protagonists after resumption, but Savovic and Salgado threes always kept Bilbao out of reach for the guests, 52-37. Justin Gray finally replied from downtown for the guests to make it 57-43 entering minute 27. Bilbao was keeping its turnovers number rather low, 4, and also had three more steals than Nymburk. The game entered a phase in which both teams exchanged baskets, and that was a good situation for Bilbao as time kept running and the cushion stayed comfortable at around 12-14 points. That was until Bilbao erupted again with a 10-0 burst to close the third quarter that broke the game open, sending the scoreboard to a 69-48. When nobody expected it however, Nymburk reacted with a 2-13 run in a collective effort that left Bilbao groggie for some minutes. Luke Recker stopped the bleeding for the hosts with a three to make it 74-61 in minute 35. At this point, the game entered the last minute with another exchange of points. Pavel Slezak hit a bomb for the guests but only to reply Salgado's previous one so as the game got closer to the final buzzer, Bilbao was dominating by 13 points, 81-68. It was then when the last authority blow by Bilbao came in the shape of an 11-1 run capped by Salgado with a free throw that broke the game open and secured Bilbao's passage to the Last 16.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008