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Chaos – Jerusalem downs Gilboa/Galil, Eilat defeats Holon

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Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 85-93 Hapoel Jerusalem
Hapoel Jerusalem knotted up their best of 5 quarterfinal series 1-1 against Hapoel Gilboa/Galil by winning on the road 93-85. Jerome Dyson dropped 19 points while Ronald Roberts and Rich Howell each scored 14 points in the back and forth game. J’Covan Brown scored 25 points as Joaquin Szuchman added 17 points in the loss as game 3 will be played Sunday night in Jerusalem at 9pm.

Hapoel Eilat 100-86 Hapoel Holon
Hapoel Eilat drew even with Hapoel Holon as their best of 5 quarterfinal series is now tied up at 1-1. Amit Simhon scored a career high 29 points to pace the host’s as Eric Griffin added 20 points to go along with Jordan Loyd’s 15 points and 8 assists. Joe Alexander led Holon with 21 points in a game that Dan Shamir’s side never was in. Sharon Drucker’s squad guaranteed another game down south and will look to take the momentum from game 2 into Sunday night’s matchup back at Holon.

3-Pointers
1) For the second straight day the officiating in the Israel Basketball League Playoffs has been horrendous, horrific and just absolutely horrible. Last night it was at the Nes Ziona vs Maccabi Tel Aviv game and today at the Gilboa/Galil vs Jerusalem game. Technicals when there shouldn’t have been, unsportsmanlike fouls, off the ball fouls and on and on. It was one bad call after the next. Unlike last night when the refs massively favored Nes Ziona, today it was just all around terrible refereeing. Add to that Jordan Hamilton spitting at Amit Simhon and didn’t get ejected and you just get plain and simple chaos. Someone has got to review the officiating and set some kind of standards because it looked like chaos yet again. Chaos.

2) Rich Howell. He’s the ultimate key player for Jerusalem and he needs to be on the court as much as possible especially offensively because he’s just an absolute machine. He picked up a number of early fouls which kept him on the bench but in 19:30 minutes he scored 14 points and grabbed 8 boards for the capital city Reds. Jerome Dyson and his sharp shooting scored 19 points plus his aggressive play was all she wrote for Jerusalem as they tied up the series. Dyson let it all out all over the court and said following the game that they understood that they needed to go into the game and play with a lot of energy. And that’s what they did. They’ll need to continue to play this type of basketball if they want to take the series over Gilboa/Galil.

3) Coach Oded Katash also knows full well what the main ingredient will be in winning the series, emotional play, aggressiveness and hard work. “We came out with a lot of emotions and that’s what we expected when we spoke about that after game one. We need to keep Gilboa from getting a run off and we have to be smart. We can’t miss the opportunity that we have and next game we have to play even harder. We know that Gilboa will come with a ton of energy and we have to match them. We are the champions and we have to come in with that attitude; these are the playoffs. We were able to execute better today but we didn’t come into the game with a different plan.” Sunday night will be a test for Jerusalem to see how they come out to play their second home game of the series. They know what to do, but can they execute? That’s the biggest question.

Overtime
J’Covan Brown came out like a house in fire and scored 14 of his 25 points in the first quarter and went 7/10 from 3 but only 2/9 from 2 while also adding 9 assists in 39:18 of play. Add to that Joaquin Szuchman, the future star of Israeli Basketball who scored 17 points and was also running on all cylinders for Gilboa/Galil and you had a nice competitive game. However after that there wasn’t much more in the tank for the host’s. D’Angelo Harrison scored on 7 points and was in foul trouble all game long while Zach LeDay was limited to only one field goal and went 1/7 from the field while going 14/18 from the line for 16 points. Without those two players, Gilboa/Galil will have a very tough time winning this series playing with a short bench.