Spirou Basket took a step toward joining the Turkish Airlines Euroleague when it opened the qualifying rounds with a convincing 79-68 victory against CEZ Nymburk at home in Charleroi, Belgium on Tuesday. The teams meet again on Friday in the Czech Republic, where Spirou can lose by up to 10 points and still reach the second qualifying round. A 15-2 run after halftime by Spirou proved too much to overcome for Nymburk, which played without its major off-season addition, scorer Tre Simmons, who is injured. Spirou went ahead by as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter before Nymburk trimmed the final difference. Joseph Gomis led five double-digit scorers for Spirou with 18 points, including 4-for-6 three-point accuracy. Brindley Wright added 14 points, Demond Mallet 12, Brian Greene and Chris Hill 11 each. Nymburk was paced by Weyinmi Efejuku with 19 points, Petr Benda with 15 and Mike Lenzly with 12. Andre Riddick's 9 rebounds helped Spirou get a huge advantage, 43-27, on the boards.
Efejuku opened the scoring for Nymburk, which used his 8 points in 4 minutes to tie the hosts 10-10. Gomis shot Spirou ahead then with the game's first three-point shot, then the hosts survived a scoring lull to stay ahead as Riddick's three-point play made it 18-14. Mallet's triple and free throws by Greene extended Spirou's run to 8-0 and a 23-14 lead after 10 minutes. Spirou maintained its advantage at 29-20 on a dunk by Dwayne Broyles before Pavel Pumprla and Benda started Nymburk's response. The visitors kept getting to the line and forcing tough shots on Spirou until Lenzly's triple and pair of free throws forged a 35-35 tie. After 4 minutes without a basket, Spirou got one on the halftime buzzer from Greene to stay ahead 37-35.
After Efejuku tied for Nymburk to open the second half, Gomis and Riddick kept Spirou ahead. Suddenly, the hosts took over on defense and held Nymburk to a pair of free throws over the next 5 minutes. When Gomis nailed his fourth triple of the game, Spirou had its first double-digit lead, 50-39. Benda finally ended Nymburk's drought with a three-point play to which Efejuku added a triple at 52-45, but Hill's triple, free throws by Wright and Mallet's jump shot restored Spirou's double-digit advantage, 59-47 after 30 minutes. Spirou kept on the attack, boosting the lead to 20 points, 71-51, on layups by Wright and Gomis early in the final quarter. Nymburk needed to make up points and followed Adam Koch and Efejuku to within 75-61. Lenzly's final triple cut the difference to 78-68 before Mallet finished up with a free throw to give Spirou 11 points to travel with to the Czech Republic.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010