| Czech champion CEZ Basketball Nymburk advanced to the second stage of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds with a resounding 83-65 victory on the opening game of the eight-team event in Desio, Italy. Nymburk pieced together a 17-2 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to break open what had been a close game to that point. A.J. Abrams scored 6 of his team-high 15 points during that stage to spark the winners. Nymburk also outshot Oostende from three-point range by making 12 of 26 (46.1%) and outrebounded the Belgian champs 37-32. Petr Benda scored 14, Mike Taylor 13, Miljan Pavkovic 10 and Pavel Houska added 9 points and 11 rebounds for Nymburk, which plays next on Thursday. Matt Lojeski paced Oostende with 16 points, Brent Wright tallied 14 points and 9 rebounds and Dusan Katnic also scored 14 in defeat. As a result of the loss, Oostende will play in the 2012-13 Eurocup.
Both teams scored inside on their opening possessions, but Nymburk had the hotter hand early. Lukas Palyza nailed a three, Abrams followed with a jumper and Taylor dropped a three in transition to lift the Czech champs to 10-2. Lojeski carried Oostend back within 3 only to see Abrams connect from downtown. Wright was a force inside for Oostende and Lojeski added another basket to keep it close. Mario Stojic drew Oostende within 16-15 from the line. Benda, on the offensive glass, kept Nymburk ahead, but Lojeski countered with a tough three-point play. Katnic gave Oostende its first lead, 19-20, with a pair of free throws. Abrams answered from downtown before Lojeski free throws left the score knotted at 22-22 through 10 minutes.
Nymburk took charge early in the second quarter with baskets inside by Christos Tapoutos and Drew Naymick. Taylor added a jumper to make it 28-22. Dragisa Drobnjak scored Oostende’s first points of the second quarter after nearly two and a half minutes. Oostende stayed close, but after Naymick made a hook shot and Pavkovic took a steal in for a layup, it was 34-28 midway through the quarter. Lojeski raced to pick up a loose ball and throw down a slam to bring Oostende back within 1. Vojtech Hruban kept Nymburk on top with a basket-plus-foul and Palyza extended the lead to 5 with a triple. After Katnic narrowed the gap to 2, Hruban hit back with a long jumper. However in the closing seconds, a Taylor turnover led to a Lojeski slam at the buzzer to bring Oostende within 44-43 at the break.
Lojeski remained Oostende’s main man with a basket to give his team the lead at the start of the third quarter. Taylor countered with a deep triple, only to see Wilkinson match him. The problems mounted for Nymburk when Abrams went to the bench with his fourth foul. Nevertheless, Coach Ronen Ginzburg’s men stayed strong and a Pavkovic three-pointer made it 52-48. Wright battled inside for a rebound, foul drawn and 2 free throws as the lead switched hands again. Stojic capped a 0-7 Oostende surge with a driving layup. Houska tied the game with a big three and soon after Benda put Nymburk up 59-57 from the line. Nymburk finished the quarter strong with Benda scoring twice around a Pavkovic bucket to make it 68-60, however Pavkovic also picked up his fourth foul in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Katnic made it 68-62 with 10 minutes to play.
Abrams pulled up for a jumper and then drew a foul and sank a free throw for Nymburk’s biggest lead yet, 9 points. The red-hot guard then drilled a three to make it 6 straight points for him and to extend a 12-2 team run. The pressure seemed to affect Oostende, which failed to convert on a three-chance possession. Houska added another three as the lead swelled to 15. Abrams fouled out, but Nymburk continued padding its lead as Tapoutos sank free throws. Dusan Djordjevic finally scored his team’s first points after more than five minutes, but that was not enough to spark a run. Taylor fouled out for Nymburk, which left the Czech champs without either of their starting guards, however Oostende’s offensive woes continued. A Pavkovic three with 2:22 to play made it 83-64 and essentially settled the outcome.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012