CEZ Basketball Nymburk became the fifth team to register a road win in Last 16 Game 1 by downing VEF Riga 81-91 in the Latvian capital in Group I on Wednesday. Nymburk ties with Valencia Basket atop the standings, with VEF and BCM Gravelines right behind at 0-1. Petr Benda paced the winners with 24 points on 11-of-14 two-pointers. Lamayne Wilson added 23 while Pavel Pumprla had 10 for Nymburk. Sandis Valters and Antanas Kavaliauskas led VEF with 19 points apiece. Curtis Millage added 15 for the hosts, that trailed 20-21 after 10 minutes. It didn't last long, however, as Benda, Tre Simmons and Wilson fueled a 2-19 run that broke the game open, 24-44, late in the first half. Nymburk kept a 30-48 margin at the break, boosted it to 41-65 late in the third quarter and did not have much trouble to control the game from that moment until the final buzzer. VEF rallied in the final 4 minutes but it was already too little, too late for the hosts.
Kavaliauskas got VEF going with a layup and Karspars Berzins soon added a put-back basket for a 4-2 lead. Wilson sank a jumper and a layup by Eugene Lawrence gave Nymburk its first lead, 4-6. Benda and Gatis Jahovics traded layups but a put-back basket by Wilson kept the guests ahead, 6-10. Millage buried a jumper but a 0-6 run that Simmons capped with a layup boosted Nymburk's lead to 8-16. Kristaps Janicenoks followed free throws with a triple and a layup by Kavaliauskas brought VEF within 15-18. Valters struck from downtown but Drew Naymick erased it with a layup-plus-foul. A layup by Millage fixed the score at 20-21 after 10 minutes. A.J. Abrams hit a jumper early in the second quarter. Naymick added free throws and a three-pointer by Mike Lenzly gave Nymburk some fresh air at 22-28. Benda scored around the basket and added a jumper that made it a nine-point game, 23-32. VEF could not find the way to the basket, while free throws by Lenzly and triples by Michal Kremen and Wilson broke the game open, 23-40. Benda scored again and a jumper by Simmons capped a 2-19 run, 24-44. Valters sank a three-pointer while Tyler Cain and Maurice Bailey added free throws but Benda and Wilson kept Nymburk way ahead, 30-48, at halftime.
Benda shined with a three-point play right after the break and a layup by Pumprla gave Nymburk a 30-53 margin. VEF went scoreless for more than 2 minutes until Kavaliauskas and Cain stepped up with back-to-back layups. A three-pointer by Valters capped a 7-0 run and got VEF within 37-53. Benda took over with a dunk, igniting a 0-7 run that Wilson capped with a triple that kept Nymburk way ahead, 37-60. Valters insisted from downtown but Benda and Pumprla forced the hosts to call timeout at 41-65. Kavaliauskas and Brandon Bowdry tried to change things for VEF but three-pointers by Wilson and Abrams gave the guests a 46-72 margin. Bailey answered from downtown and Bailey added a layup but Pumprla fixed the score at 51-74 after 30 minutes. The outcome was clear already but both teams kept fighting for points difference, always a critical issue in the Last 16. Pumprla fed Benda for a layup and Ladislav Sokolovsky found his first points for a 53-78 score with 7 minutes left. Kavaliauskas and Valters combined for all points in an 8-0 run but back-to-back baskets by Wilson made Nymburk put the victory on ice, 61-84. Everything was said and done already, as VEF only rallied once the outcome was clear.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012