CEZ Nymburk stumbled into the Last 32 and will have its work cut out for it facing one of the regular season's top surprises PGE Turow Zgorzelec. Head coach Muli Katzurin's Nymburk lost the final two games to finish at 5-5. But the Czech squad made ULEB Cup-bests 44% from long range and 83% free throws while turning the ball over an adequate 14 times. But Nymburk was also one of the worst rebounding clubs in the competition with a minus-26 rebounding margin including a minus-35 margin in its five losses. Katzurin's leaders on the court were center Radoslav Rancik (20.5 ppg, 7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.7 spg) and playmaker Arthur Lee (13.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.6 spg). Shooting guard Monty Mack did a solid job as the third option with 12.1 points and 3.3 assists while small forward Ladislav Sokolovsky chipped in 10.6 points. Another key to Nymburk's chances will be power forward Petr Benda, who had 8.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1 block. PGE Turow Zgorzelec meanwhile may have surprised many in the regular season, but head coach Saso Filipovski and his team is looking for more. The Polish team struggled from beyond the arc, hitting a 45th-ranked 32% of its three-pointers, but this side won by handling the ball. Turow's 11.2 turnovers per game was second best in ULEB Cup, behind just Khimki and helped the team to a seven-game winning streak before losing its final game of the campaign. The team revolves around guard David Logan, who averaged 18.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.3 steals. And even though shooting guard Thomas Kelati (16.3 ppg, 2.2 apg) is the only other player to score in double digits, there is plenty of other talent on this team. Small forward Dragisa Drobnjak averaged 8.3 points and 4.8 rebounds, center Slobodan Ljubotina chipped in 7.9 points and a team-high 6 rebounds and playmaker Andres Rodriguez runs a great show, with 7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists. But Filipovski's team has struggled with rebounding with a minus-11.5 average in its two losses and just a +15 total rebounding margin in its eight wins. If Nymburk wants to win, it better pound the boards.
Monday, February 18, 2008