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Israel Basketball European Review February 3, 2016

Dov Halickman Photography

Hapoel Jerusalem 94-103 Avtodor Saratov

With both Hapoel Jerusalem and Avtodor Saratov already out of European competition the defense was checked at the door as the NBA took over, the NBA Summer League that is. No defense, lots of shooting and tons of scoring.

Travis Peterson dropped 14 points in the first frame going 4/5 on 3-point attempts while Paul Stoll dished out 7 assists! On the Red side of the floor, EJ Rowland scored 10 points.

The second quarter saw Hapoel outgun the visitors 23-22 as rarely used Rafi Menco had the chance to play for almost the full 10 minutes and rewarded his coach with 6points and 3 rebounds. Meanwhile, Peterson raised his game total to 20 points after 20 minutes with his side shooting 12/22 from beyond the arc.

Saratov continued their hot shooting from outside and Menco added to his team high game total of 18 points through the third and with the visitors comfortably ahead no one could have expected that Jerusalem would make a game out of it in the final frame.

Hapoel Jerusalem began to cut the Russian’s lead and with 3:30 left in the game were only down by 3-points, 91-88. With Donta Smith fouled out, coach Danny Franco needed to find a hero. However, no one rose to the occasion as Saratov opened up a 96-90 lead with Lior Eliyahu picking up a foul plus a technical to end the potential Cinderella story.

By Aaron Glenn

Union Olimpija Ljubljana 73-66 Maccabi Tel Aviv

A shorthanded Maccabi team could not handle Ljubljana as the Yellow-and-Blue were missing four key players. Gal Mekel led the team with 20 points on an efficient 6/6 on field goals while both teams struggled from beyond the arc with Maccabi shooting 6/26 and Ljubljana going only 2/16. The game was never out of reach for Maccabi until the end when Ljubljana hit a few clutch free throws to seal the deal. Maccabi has now lost three in a row and need a win next week at home to still have a chance at reaching the Eurocup Round of 16.

Maccabi Rishon Le’zion 98-85 Kataja

Rishon made a terrific comeback to pick up a victory in Finland thanks to the outstanding play of Mark Lyons. He scored 23 points to lead Rishon to a second place finish in their group moving to the round of sixteen. Kataja’s road to the ship ended last night finishing 1-5 in group play.