| Pepsi Caserta won its second game of the Last 16 by beating CEZ Nymburk 68-74, on the road at CEZ Arena on Tuesday. Caserta improved to 2-0 in Group K, while Nymburk dropped to 0-2 and has a mountain to climb to make the quarterfinals after the home loss. Eric Williams paced Caserta with 18 points on an 8-of-12 shooting night. Ebi Ere added 15 points for the winners, Timmy Bowers tallied 13 and Fabio Di Bella netted 11, including a clutch triple at the end, while Jumaine Jones supplied the dirty work with 12 rebounds. Nymburk managed to keep it close thanks to Tre Simmons’ 21 points and 7 rebounds and Pavel Pumprla’s 15 points, but shot only 3-of-20 from three-point territory and could not capitalize on Caserta’s poor free-throw percentage. Nymburk will travel to Istanbul to play Galatasaray Café Crown in Week 3, while Caserta hosts Asefa Estudiantes at the Palamaggio.
Nymburk came out of the gate aggressive and had an impressive start with a 10-2 run fueled on restless defense and high-percentage shots. But the visitors were able to counter thanks to 4 straight points by Bowers and an Ere three-pointer that put the score at 16-11 after Williams and Pumprla traded dunks. As Nymburk relentlessly hit the offensive glass, it was all close looks from then on until the end of the quarter, with the hosts finishing the period with 5 made field goals in the paint, though Bowers had the last one with a slam to reach the break at 18-13. The offenses picked up in the second quarter, with Caserta attacking the rim and Nymburk hitting 3 triples after the visitors had closed to 18-17. Pepsi learned from its first-quarter mistakes and sealed the defensive glass while moving the ball well on offense, spreading the floor and hitting from all angles. But even as consecutive layups by Bowers and Jones gave Caserta the lead for the first time in the game, 21-23, Nymburk kept true to its game plan and rode Simmons for 9 straight points off 2 triples and a three-point play to put them back in the driver’s seat at 27-26. Williams answered with a dunk and a layup and Ere scored his 10th point on a jumper before Ladislav Sokolovsky joined the three-point club and Aaron Doornekamp closed the quarter with a triple of his own, keeping both teams even at halftime, 41-41.
Ere hit again from beyond the arc for Caserta early in the second half, while the hosts kept attacking with a strong inside game. Play intensified as Jones got whistled for a technical foul and Pumprla dunked home his 15th point. The defenses tightened, with both teams missing from the line, but Luca Garri got going offensively for Caserta while playmaker Afik Nissim had trouble settling in for Nymburk, and it was the visitors who finished the quarter on top 56-58 after a Williams jumpshot. With the perimeter shots not falling, the hosts were intent on attacking from the paint and got Petr Benda and Ales Chan involved to start the final period, as a battle in the trenches ensued and a two-pointer by Williams got Caserta the lead again, 66-68, with three minutes to go. Nymburk found no immediate answer as the visitors defended well and Simmons and Mike Lenzly were unable to convert on the next possessions before Jones added from the line and Di Bella swished a dagger three-pointer for a 66-72 advantage with under a minute to go. With Nymburk pressed for offense, Simmons missed 3 consecutive tries form beyond the arc before Bowers sealed the deal from the free-throw line.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011