In FIBA Europe League action this evening, CEZ Nymburk hosted Galil Elyon from Israel. It was the most important match in this round for both sides as a win would guarantee a spot in the playoffs and a loss meant an end to the season. With everyone aware of the importance of this game, 1,400 spectators turned out to root on Nymburk.
Both teams played aggressive defense in the first quarter, but the home team was more successful. They made some clutch steals and were able to convert them into fast break layups at the other end. After the first ten minutes, Nymburk was up narrowly 25-17.
The second period opened up even better than the first ended for the home team. Nymburk upped their defensive level another notch which made it very difficult for the visitors to get good looks at the basket. Feeding off of their defense, Nymburk came out firing from downtown, and built up a 19-point lead.
At this point the visitors signaled for a timeout, which they used to recollect themselves and slow down the rapid pace of the game. Galil began to play stronger on defense and cut into Nymburk's lead. At the half the score stood at 53-40.
Galil built on their momentum from the second quarter, and came out aggressive on defense. They were able to create turnovers and turn them into fast break points on the other end. Nymburk was held scoreless for the first three minutes of the half, and Galil cut the score to 53-47.
At this point Jiri Zidek of Nymburk snapped into action and nailed two consecutive three-pointers to give Nymburk a 15-point cushion. The third quarter saw both teams pick up several fouls, and therefore they both had to resort to their benches. After the third period, Nymburk led 84-74.
The opening three minutes of the final quarter were similar to a chess match. Both teams were eager to win, and Galil was still more aggressive and played a more up-tempo game. Five minutes before the Christian Dalmau hit three consecutive baskets for Galil and cut their deficit to six points.
At this point Nymburk began to get nervous, however Stanislav Votroubek elevated his game and drained two three-pointers and came up with a huge block on defense. With this extra burst of energy from Votroubek, Nymburk maintained their lead and went on to win 108-95.
Amiel Oren, Assistant Coach Galil Elyon:
"Congratulations to Nymburk. Nymburk has changed very much from the last match and is more powerful. There were a few moments in this game, where we should have clinched the result. But we made many mistakes."
Michal Jezdik, Head Coach - CEZ Basketball Nymburk:
"We did a very good job tonight, congratulations to all players. We knew that Galil has a very good team and we prepared well."
MVP of the game: Jiri Zidek (CEZ Basketball Nymburk)