CEZ Basketball NYmburk took the big showdown between reigning domestic league champions in Group H by downing BK Ventspils 79-57 in Pardubice, the Czech Republic on Tuesday night. Nymburk registered its first win in Group H while Ventspils dropped to 0-2 and needs to bounce back right away to keep its Last 16 chances alive. Ron Lewis paced the winners with 23 points. Arthur Lee added 13, 8 assists and 6 steals, Phil Ricci had 12 points while Ladislav Sokolovsky got 10 for Nymburk. Aaron Pettway led Ventspils with 21 points on 9-of-9 two-pointers. Ernests Kalve added 10 for the Latvian League champs. Lewis led a 13-2 opening run that allowed Nymburk to keep a 21-14 margin after 10 minutes. Ricci took over early in the second quarter but Pettway and Mareks Jurevicus helped Ventspils to stay in the game, 42-34, at halftime. Nymburk improved its defense after the break, making Ventspils go scoreless for more than 6 minutes. Meanwhile, Lewis and Lee fueled a 13-0 run that broke the game open, 55-34, and made Nymburk keep full control of the game until the final buzzer.
Lewis got Nymburk going with 6 points, including a big dunk, in a 9-0 opening run. Ventspils went scoreless for more than 3 minutes until Pettway made free throws off a timeout. Petr Benda and a red hot Lewis sank back-to-back six-meter shots for a 13-2 score. Kalve and Lee traded baskets while Ronalds Zakis provided a highlight with a wild dunk-and-foul. Ventspils improved with twin point guards on court, as Pettway scored down low and Akeem Scott got the guests within 18-9. Ian Hanavan struck from downtown but Scott and Lauris Blaus brought Ventspils within 21-14 after 10 minutes. Ricci scored twice in the low post early in the second quarter and soon added free throws for a 27-16 Nymburk lead. Jurevicus tried to change things with a coast-to-coast layup and a corner triple but Lee and an unstoppable Ricci got the hosts way ahead, 31-21. Pettway dunked it twice and soon added a turnaround jumper for a 33-27 Ventspils deficit. Pavel Slezak rescued Nymburk with a three-pointer but Pettway took over with an alleyoop slam. Sokolovsky and Janis Strelnieks traded layups while Ricci banked in a mid-range shot for a 40-31 score. Zakis and Scott got Ventspils a bit closer, 42-34, at halftime.
Sokolovsky hit free throws and Lee added a running jumper in transition to give Nymburk a 12-point lead, 46-34, immediately after the break. Ventspils could not find the way to the basket while Benda and Michal Kremen broke the game open, 51-34. Lewis capped a 13-0 run with consecutuive fast break layups that sent the crowd to their feet, 55-34. Ventspils needed more than 6 minutes to score after the break, missing 8 shots and committing 6 turnovers until Kalve nailed a corner triple. He soon capped a 0-7 run with a layup but a jumper by Benda kept Nymburk way ahead, 57-41, after 30 minutes. Kalve kept pacing Ventspils with another three-pointer early in the fourth quarter. Strelnieks also struck from downtown and Pettway added a fast break dunk to give the guests some hope at 59-49. Lewis banked in a driving jumper and soon added a triple to keep the hosts out of trouble, 64-49. Pettway shined with a three-point play but Ricci and Lee sealed the outcome, 69-52, with under 6 minutes left. Ventspils did not recover, as Nymburk controlled the defensive board and used long possessions to please their fans with a well-deserved home win.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009