CEZ Baskets Nymburk advanced to the Last 16 as the Group H winner after crushing BK Ventspils 59-85 on the road while Lauretana Biella helped by beating Brose Baskets Bamberg. Nymburk finished 4-2, like Biella and Bamberg, but ranked first on a tiebreaker. The Czech champion now advances to Last 16 Group L, where it will face Crvena Zvezda, Gran Canaria 2014 and Turk Telekom. Meanwhile Ventspils fell to 0-6 and now must focus on the Latvian League to get back to the Eurocup next year. The result was never really in doubt as Nymburk stormed to a 3-13 start and never looked back. Ron Lewis paced the winners with 22 points, including a 10-for-10 shooting performance from the line. Petr Benda added 15 points, Phil Ricci scored 13 and Arthur Lee 10. Dairis Bertans and Ernests Kalve scored 14 apiece for Ventspils, Rolands Zakis added 12 and Sandis Buskevics posted 10 points and 6 assists in defeat.
Ventspils struck first with a Kalve triple, but it didn’t take long for Nymburk to get its rhythm. Lee set up Benda inside, Pavel Slezak added a layup and Lewis converted a three-point play as the visitors reeled of 13 unanswered points. Even after Zakis finally scored Ventspils second basket midway through the quarter, Benda and Lewis upped the Nymburk lead to 5-19. Bertans and Lauris Blaus cut the hosts’ deficit to 10, but Lee, Benda and Lewis kept pushing Nymburk and Pavel Pumprla made it 13-27 after 10 minutes. Ricci came in ands cored 5 quick points as Nymburk continued to dominate. Zakis scored again inside, but Ladislav Sokolovsky responded with a triple that ignited a 0-10 run and made it 16-42 on a Pumprla slam. Baskets by Berzins, Kalve and Zakis could only trim the gap to 24-46 at halftime.
Ventspils came out for the second half looking to make a run, but Nymburk only allowed the hosts to trade baskets. Bertans and Zakis got the Latvian champs within 20, but Benda and Lewis always answered. Buskevics made it 46-66 at the end of the quarter, but Nymburk was never threatened. Any unanswered questions were taken care of when Lewis sparked a 0-9 fourth-quarter push that took the lead to 48-77 and virtually secured a Last 16 berth. Zakis and Bertans added to their tallies down the stretch, but Nymburk’s lead crossed 30 and the visitors began watching the other scoreboards to learn their fate in the next stage.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010