Nymburk rallies past Haifa, stays alive
CEZ Basketball Nymburk survived a do-or-die battle in Last 32 Group K by topping Maccabi Haifa Bazan 68-53 in Prague, the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Nymburk and Haifa now tie for second place in Group K, each with a 2-3 record. Nymburk, however, has the tie-break advantage (1-1, +10) and will qualify to the eighthfinals if it beats Montepaschi Siena on the road next week. Haifa needs to defeat Group K champion Khimki Moscow Region and expect Montepaschi to down Nymburk in order to advance. Tre Simmons led the winners with 16 points. Vlado Ilievski added 13 and 8 assists, Rasid Mahalbasic had 12 and 11 rebounds while Vojtech Hruban got 10 points for Nymburk. Dagan Yivzori led Haifa with 13 points. Donta Smith added 11 for the guests, that led 21-32 at halftime. Nymburk improved after the break but a three-pointer by David Cubillan kept Haifa ahead, 46-51, late in the third quarter. Nymburk held Haifa scoreless for more than 11 minutes and a mamooth 20-0 run allowed the hosts to get the win. Nymburk allowed just 2 points in the fourth quarter, tying an all-time Eurocup record.
A three-pointer by Moran Roth and a layup by Brian Randle allowed Haifa to get an early 4-5 lead. Ilievski struck from downtown and Rado Rancik scored down low but back-to-back baskets by Ido Kozikaro tied it at 9-9. Smith split free throws and a jumper by Simmons allowed Nymburk to get an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. Yivzori struck from downtown early in the second quarter and a dunk by Pavel Houska tied it at 13-13. It didn't last long, however, as Yivzori hit another one from beyond the arc and Roth added his own three-pointer in an 0-11 Haifa run that Uri Kokia capped with a layup for a 13-24 score. Hruban and Kokia traded layups and Yivzori scored again to boost the guests' lead to 15-28. Back-to-back layups by Smith and Kozikaro made it a 17-point game, 15-32. Hruban and Ilievski brought Nymburk a bit closer, 21-32, at halftime.
Simmons nailed a jumper after the break and Hruben did even better with a three-pointer for a 26-32 Nymburk deficit. Kozikaro split free throws and Hruban capped a 14-1 Nymburk run with another bomb from downtown. Randle rescued Haifa with a dunk, Mahalbasic made free throws and a jumper by Smith gave the guests some fresh air at 31-37. Roth struck from downtown and back-to-back baskets by Yivzori restored a 33-44 Haifa margin. Simmons followed a triple with free throws and even when Smith scored again, three-pointers by Ilievski and a red hot Simmons brought Nymburk as close as 44-46. Smith hit a jumper and Cubillan struck from downtown for a 46-51 Haifa edge. A dunk by Mahalbasic fixed the score at 48-51 after 30 minutes. Nymburk improved its defense early in the fourth quarter, as Ilievski and Jiri Welsch put the hosts back ahead, 53-51. Rancik hit a three-pointer, Simmons nailed a jumper and a layup by Mahalbasic boosted the hosts' lead to 60-51. Haifa went scoreless for more than 11 minutes, missing 13 consecutive shots and picking up 6 turnovers. Meanwhile, Welsch and Mahalbasic sealed the outcome, 66-51, already in the final minute. A jumper by Ben Reis was too little, too late for Haifa, as Nymburk had cruised to a big win in come-from-behind fashion.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014