Hapoel Jerusalem comfortably beat Hapoel Tel Aviv 93-80 at the Arena in Jerusalem. Terrence Kinsey scored 33 points with 10 rebounds, while Richard Howell finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for Hapoel Jerusalem. Mark Lyons scored 21 points, while Tomer Ginat finished with 16 points for Hapoel Tel Aviv.
1) Tarence Kinsey had one of those night’s where everything went right into the basket. After coming back from injury and being out for a couple of weeks, it was like Kinsey had never left. With 33 points, Kinsey eclipsed his previous career high of 32 points for Partizan in a losing cause against Kuban back in 2014.
Enjoy the exclusive interview that The Sports Rabbi conducted with number 21 after his fabulous performance:
The secret ingredient for the scoring outburst:
“I was just trying to be aggressive as long as I can and I just tried to stay in attack mode and not worry about missing. Keep shooting until you miss and if you miss keep shooting again. That was pretty much the key.”
Finishing with a double-double but with no assists:
“When you got a wide open shot you got to take it, but I had 10 rebounds so I did it in both ends.”
The game plan for the rest of the season and the playoffs:
“We just have to stick to the plan and execute offensively, swing the ball, stop teams in transition, limit their offensive rebounds and give ourselves a chance to be in the game and keep it low scoring and we can come on top like that.”
About the addition of Gentile and Howell:
“Those were some huge and big additions, those guys are professional and extremely expensive talented. We now have a deeper roster and we can rotate differently so it’s a big bonus and the competition level is real high, because of those guys in practice.”
2) It looks like Richard Howell and Alessandro Gentile are becoming more and more a part of Hapoel Jerusalem. Howell picked up a double-double for Jerusalem after coming off of a 2 point night last game while Gentile picked up 9 points in 21 minutes, but only went 4/11 from the field. At times you could see his frustration on the hardwood, but he’s still getting back into shape after not playing consistently all season long in Greece. Gentile spoke about the quality of the Israeli league and also touched on what it’s like to live in Jerusalem, Israel:
“It’s very competitive and very physical. From what I’ve seen, every team is able to beat everyone other team.”
About his time in the Holy Land so far:
“It’s been very nice and it’s one of the most historic cities in the world, so it’s been nice to explore and see Jerusalem. The Old city is a great experience, I was lucky to join at Easter time and I am enjoying. It’s been a unique experience so far.”
3) Jerusalem has moved up to 4th place and with a pair of victories in their final two games against Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Kiryat they will have home court advantage in the best of 5 quarterfinal series. Thanks to Bnei Herzliya’s shocking loss at Kiryat Gat, Pianigiani’s crew is in good position to secure a draw with either a Karam Mashour-less Herzliya, a surging Nahariya or perhaps Rishon Le’Zion who may slip into 5th place. Regardless, all three of these teams will be competitive and give Jerusalem some problems, however, those issues should not be insurmountable.
Maccabi Haifa visits The Arena and Hapoel Jerusalem on Thursday night in what could be a critical game for Ofer Rahimi’s squad. With Gilboa/Galil still fighting for the 8th and last playoff spot, Haifa’s got to be very careful as Ariel Beit Halachmi’s surprise package are very, very close to jumping into the final quarterfinal position. The last couple of Gamedays will certainly be interesting and exciting with teams jockeying to positions as they head into the postseason.