Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion were outclassed by Andorra 86-67 in Round 4 action as Guy Goodes’s squad’s record fell to 1-3 in continental play. The Spanish side dominated play throughout the 40 minute contest and were never really threatened as Ibon Navarro’s team picked up their first road win.
Alex Hamilton once again was Rishon’s main man as the guard scored 21 points on 6/9 from the field while also dishing out 4 assists while Darryl Monroe added 16 points in the loss. Clevin Hannah led the way for Andorra with 13 points (3/4 from beyond the arc) and added 9 assists, Frantz Massenat chipped in with 13 points and David Jelinek scored 15 points in the win that saw the visitors hit 12/27 triples.
1) There’s no question who the leader on Andorra is as veteran guard Clevin Hannah was the conductor leading his orchestra in the win. The Wichita State product was active from the get go and helped his side take an early lead while constantly pushing the ball and knowing when to three the needle or hit an important shot. If you haven’t read The Sports Rabbi’s exclusive interview with Hannah, make sure you click on this link to check it out. I asked Coach Navarro what Hannah brings to the table, “He knows what I want and I know what he can give to the team as he is the most experienced player and knows how to deal with the tasks that he has in the game.” After the game I also had a word with Hannah before he departed for an early morning flight and he was upbeat not only because Andorra had won their first road game but that Bologna lost which opened up the whole group.
2) Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion signed Fredric Bourdillon last week, a story which was broken by The Sports Rabbi and he made his European debut in his second game with the club. Although Rishon fell he understood the gap that exists between his new team and an ACB squad that plays the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Baskonia week in and week out, “This was my first European game ever. You can see that they are more ready than us right now. Every time in offense they find the open guy. We gave good effort, but it’s not enough against this kind of team. We will learn from each game and get better game by game.” The guard was also happy that he finally signed with Rishon, “We were close but it took time and the coach did everything to bring me here. I love to give everything on the court.” What are his goals for the coming season? “We want to reach the Israeli League final four.” Coach Goodes also commented on why he wanted to bring the Frenchman to his team, “He has a lot of heart, he’s aggressive and plays both ends of the court with passion while also bringing a lot of energy to the game.”
3) The Spanish League is very, very, very good. So good that Guy Goodes agreed with me that after the NBA and the Euroleague the next league in line is the ACB. He said that there was a time that the Turkish League was ahead but not anymore and who can argue when you see one strong team after another where anyone can win at any time. “It’s a tough league and there can be a lot of surprises. Andorra has 10 foreigners where we have only four. Some have played in the Euroleague and when you see them play you know why they are there.”
Alex Hamilton has been red hot for Rishon and has led them game after game recently. The guard is playing arguably the best basketball since he arrived in Israel last season. Goodes spoke about his recent run and if he can keep up his current level of play going forward, “I hope that Alex can continue his current form because he is super important. He is giving us the basketball we want to see and if he continues he can get a big contact next year. The potential is there but we have to help him as a team as well.”
Hapoel Holon remained winless as they lost in Belgium to Oostende 101-86. Marcus Foster was Holon’s high scorer with 22 points while Ryan Thompson added 17 points for Sharon Drucker’s squad.