CEZ Nymburk sent a message that it's still alive in Group H by scoring a huge 63-66 road win against Buducnost m:tel on Tuesday in Podgorica, Montenegro. The Czech champions improved to 2-3, tied for second place with Hemofarm Stada, setting up a winner-take-all showdown between them next week on Nymburk's home court. Buducnost fell to 1-4 and elimination. Justin Gray paced the winners with 19 points and hit the key free throws down the stretch for the winners. Arthur Lee scored 15 points to go with 5 rebounds, while Goran Jagodnik chipped in with 12 points for Nymburk. Vladimir Micov led Buducnost with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Vladimir Dasic posted another double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Milos Bojovic hit 11. The game was open until the last minute when Nymburk's game-long efficiency from foul line, where it hit 32 of 43, concluded with 4 in a row that settled the matter.
Buducnost started with its trademark aggressive man-to-man defense and forced Nymburk to go scoreless through four possessions. Bojovic scored twice to put Buducnost up 4-0, and after Lee and Radek Necas answered for Nymburk, a 9-0 series by Micov, Ivan Maras and Bojovic gave the hosts their highest lead of the game, 13-4. By the end of the first quarter, however, Gray and Blake Schilb had joined the Nymburk offense to trim the difference to 18-14. The visitors allowed Dasic a free throw to start the second quarter before blasting off on an incredible 3-14 run that lasted almost 6 minutes. Schilb and Lee punished the hosts and Goran Jagodnik fired a bomb from downtown for a 22-28 Nymburk lead. Consecutive triplets by Micov and Dasic took back the lead for Buducnost, but only until Gray responded from the arc for a 32-33 halftime advantage for Nymburk.
Vladimir Dragicevic and Marko Simonovic put Buducnost ahead again, 35-33, right after the break. Ladislav Sokolovsky answered from long range as Nymburk went back in front, 35-38. Buducnost intensified its defense, forcing some turnovers, while Dragicevic, Micov and Dasic fuelled a 7-1 run to a new 40-39 lead. Lee re-emerged then, however, and his points made sure Nymburk was still up, 45-46, after 30 minutes. Dasic, Micov and Bojovic shared 5 free throws to open the last quarter putting Buducnost in control at 50-46. Then, the second quarter repeated itself as Nymburk made a 4-14 run in the next 4 minutes - with Jagodnik and Sokolovsky hitting triples while Lee and Gray made nice moves - to take over the scoreboard at 54-60. Micov's free throws and Dasic's three-pointer with 56 seconds left got Buducnost its last lead, 61-60. Jagodnik answered with easy points, however, and after Nemanja Gordic made only 1 of 2 free throws, Gray had no mercy. He downed both his free throws on the next possession, and after Bojovic also made only 1 of 2, Gray sealed victory of the visitors with 2 more perfect free throws to seal a golden victory for Nymburk.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009