Bizkaia Bilbao Basket put a foot into the Eurocup Finals by taking a 47-59 road win at CEZ Nymburk on Tuesday night in the first leg of their home-and-away Quarterfinals series. Bilbao will start the return leg next Wednesday at home with great confidence to advance to the Finals that will take place in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, on April 17 and 18. A 5-17 run in the fourth quarter broke the game open and allowed Bizkaia Bilbao Basket to score a big win. Javi Rodriguez tied the game at 42-42 from the foul line, then Janis Blums opened fire from beyond the arc and completed a four-point-play to push Bilbao ahead 42-46. Another three pointer from the guard increased the guests’ confidence and sparked another 0-8 push to reach the final 12-point margin. Jerome Moiso led the way with 11 points and 6 rebounds, Chris Warren and Marko Banic added 10 points apiece, while Blums bagged 9 more for the winners. Ron Lewis led all scorers with 17 points and Pavel Pumprla had 9 for the home team.
Michal Kremen got Nymburk going with a jumper and Petr Benda added free throws for a 4-0 lead. Banic and Warren stepped up with back-to-back jumpers, as the hosts tried to slow down the game tempo and get Benda and Radek Necas involved. Benda and Axel Hervelle traded baskets and Warren soon gave Bilbao its first lead, 6-8. Kremen kept pacing Nymburk with a three-pointer, but Bilbao dominated the defensive boards through an outstanding Hervelle. Banic scored again and Nymburk soon
entered the foul bonus. Warren and Rodriguez made the most of it by drawing loose ball fouls and making 3 of 4 free throws to give Bilbao a 9-13 edge. Lewis sank free throws and Phil Ricci added a dunk to get Nymburk within 13-14. A layup by Lewis and a big triple by Ricci put the hosts back ahead, 18-15, after 10 minutes. Banic scored down low early in the second quarter, as the guests improved their defense. Nymburk went scoreless for more than two minutes until Pumprla took over with a dunk. Moiso came off the bench and immediately delivered with a three-point play, but he didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, Lewis and Pumprla struck from downtown in a 7-0 run that gave Nymburk a 27-20 lead. Javi Salgado fed Moiso for a dunk that Ladislav Sokolovsky bettered with a triple to make it an 8-point game. Bilbao struggled to score and a jumper by Lewis gave Nymburk its first double-digit lead, 32-22, just before halftime.
Hervelle opened the third quarter with a dunk, but Benda answered for the hosts. Immediately Banic answered in the paint as Bilbao showed signs of fight. Lewis again from beyond the arc fueled the hosts to stay in front 37-31. Then he and Banic exchanged baskets before another dunk from Warren made it 39-35. Pumprla from beyond the arc excited the crowd and fixed the score at 42-35 for Nymburk after 30 minutes. Moiso used his size in the lane to back in and score. Then Rodriguez tied the game at 42-42 with a pair of free throws before Blums connected from downtown as part of the decisive run adding, also addind a free throw. He and Lewis exchanged triples to make it 47-49, however then Nymburk was held scoreless until the final buzzer. Meanwhile Warren and Moiso found again easy points and Damir Markota sealed the visitors’ success with 2 more free throws.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010