Tony Gaffney seemed to be the only player to show up for an overmatched Jerusalem side against last season’s EuroCup finalists Gran Canaria. With very little support, the undersized center was able to deliver a huge block in the third quarter sending the Red faithful into a frenzy. Unfortunately with the crowd red hot EJ Rowland threw up an air ball 3-point attempt to pretty much sum up Hapoel’s evening falling to the Spaniards 75-64.
After a fairly close first quarter that ended 18-16 in favor of Gran Canaria thanks to Gaffney’s 6 points (14pts) keeping the home side close, the visitors outscored Jerusalem 28-13 in the second frame to take a 46-29 lead into the break. Albert Oliver’s 11 first half points (18pts), going 4/5 from 3-point land along with Alen Omic’s defense put a serious dent in Hapoel’s chances of coming back after a dominating first 20 minutes.
The third and fourth quarters were more of the same as Gran Canaria shot lights out finishing the game off with 13 three pointers good for 44% from beyond the arc and 50% on two-pointers. Finnish star Sasu Salin continued getting easy looks and ended the game with 20 points.
Maccabi Tel Aviv earned a hard fought victory away at Nizhny Novgorod 87-83 led by Taylor Rochestie’s 17 point performance. Trevor Mbakwe chipped in with a double-double scoring 10 points and pulling down 14 rebounds while Arinze Onuaku dropped 15 points in 15 minutes for the Yellow-and-Blue. With the match tied at 63-63 heading into the 4th quarter, Maccabi was able to come back after a small 5-point deficit midway through the frame when the score was 71-76 in favor of the Russians. But Devin Smith drained a clutch three to help send Maccabi to their 2nd straight EuroCup win.
Rishon Le’Zion continued their terrific run defeating Finnish side Kataja at home. The Orange received monster games from Mark Lyons and Charles Wright each with 22points while Daryl Monroe dropped 21pts and Shawn Dawson chipped in with 17 in a fantastic display of basketball. Lamayn Wilson scored 27 points in a losing effort for Kataja.