| Valencia Basket squeaked past Nymburk 73-72 to go 4-0 in Group I and clinch a spot in the quarterfinals. After dominating the game and leading 64-51 early in the fourth quarter, the hosts nearly wilted before Nymburk's fierce comeback. The visitors tied the game on a Pavel Pumprla triple with 6 seconds left, but after Valencia regained the lead on a Rodrigo San Miguel free throw, Lamayne Wilson failed to connect at the buzzer. Rafa Martinez paced the winners with 15 points, while Nik Caner-Medley had 11 and a trio of players added 9 apiece – Victor Claver, Vitor Faverani and Nando De Colo, who added 10 assists. Petr Benda and Pavel Pumprla each scored 18 points and Eugene Lawrence had 13 in a losing effort.
Valencia took off on an 8-2 run to open the contest, led by a pair of baskets by Caner-Medley. After Pumprla nailed a two-pointer, the scoring belonged to Valencia, which added a 7-0 run to its lead, with most of the points coming down low, as San Miguel and Claver each put in layups, extending the hosts’ lead to 15-4. Petr Benda pulled up the slack for the visitors, scoring 4 points in a row to trim the lead to 15-9. The scoring continued in the paint for both teams as Pumprla dunked and Caner-Medley knocked down a layup and dunk of his own, as Valencia ended the quarter up 19-11. After Benda’s foul shots, Martinez buried a triple to put the hosts out front 22-13 to start the third quarter. A 2-minute scoring drought ensued, then Martinez produced 5 more points on another laser from downtown and a layup, to which Andrew James Ogilvy added a layup and a foul shot as Valencia’s lead ballooned to 30-13. Scoring moved ahead evenly, then Michael Kremen buried a three for Nymburk, cutting the lead to 32-18. Valencia added points in the paint, as Brad Newley and Florent Pietrus each scored, but a pair of layups by Benda, a triple by Tre Simmons and foul shots by Wilson further cut the deficit to 36-26. Valencia’s De Colo registered his first points of the game with a layup, followed by a two-pointer by Simmons, then Newley dunked with 1 second on the clock to give the hosts a 40-28 halftime lead.
Vitor Faverani led Valencia’s 6-2 run to open the third quarter with a pair of layups as the hosts reasserted control 46-30. Benda connected on a two-pointer for Nymburk, but Claver and Caner-Medley each added three-pointers, pushing the lead back up to 52-32. The visitors answered with a 2-9 run, capped by Kremen’s triple, reducing the gap to 54-41. After Ogilvy and Kremen exchanged layups, Wilson drilled another three for Nymburk, slicing the lead further, 57-46. De Colo stepped up with free throws and a three-pointer, but Eugene Lawrence answered with a layup and Wilson ended the quarter with a three of his own as the visitors battled to get the lead down to single digits, 60-51. Valencia pushed back to open the fourth quarter as Martinez and De Colo each scored layups to open a 64-51 lead. Nymburk responded again, as Kremen and Lawrence each drilled a triple, but Martinez quickly banged in a two-pointer to stave off the rally, setting the scoreboard at 68-57. Nymburk kept at it, taking off on a 0-10 surge, led by Benda and Pumprla, to pull to 68-67 with 27 seconds on the clock. Martinez got 4 points on the foul line, but Lawrence scored a layup and then Pumprla buried a triple with 6 seconds to go, knotting the game at 72-72. San Miguel split free throws for Valencia then Wilson missed a two-point attempt with 1 second on the clock as Valencia eked out the win, 73-72.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012