Adams begins to spread wings for Jerusalem as Kilpatrick stars

Oct 19, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem seemingly finished off the game before it even started as they got the upper hand very swiftly against Hapoel Beer Sheva in their 90-72 win at the Jerusalem Arena. Sean Kilpatrick hit Rami Hadar’s team early and often as the guard just scored and scored and scored from everywhere on the court finishing the night with 28 points in a dominant performance.

But along with Kilpatrick was Jalen Adams (15 points) who seems to be finding his home very, very nicely here in the nation’s capital. The UCONN product provides instant offense when the Reds would need it most. Against Beer Sheva his scoring wasn’t crucial to chalk up the win but it was a thing of beauty whether it was a slick triple or superb dunk, Adams has that knack of finding the bucket effortlessly like very few players can. Perhaps that was what was missing for Hadar as Oren Amiel bested him on the hardwood in a battle of similar styles to notch his second Israeli league win in a row.

Oren Amiel – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“We expected a tough and physical battle when you play a team coached by Rami,” Amiel explained in the postgame press conference. “We found some joy in our game and that’s what I wanted to do the week after the Manresa game. This was to build the confidence of the players.”

When you have players like Kilpatrick and Adams it certainly is a joy to watch as they danced on the court to the beat of the 3,000 fans in attendance. But it was making sure that the Reds began strong and put the pressure on a Beer Sheva team that doesn’t have a player like they did last season in Caleb Agada who could impose his will on the entire league week after week.

“We came out set and tone and played with good energy and made the extra pass. When we do that we will be ok. We watched the film and put in the work the past week,” Adams said.

Rami Hadar – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“We may have met our kryptonite,” Hadar began. “Jerusalem plays similarly to us, but we didn’t start the game off well and they did and from there we had a tough time. For us to win we need to hit our shots from the outside and we didn’t do that today, we have some good shooters but we weren’t on this game.”

As Hadar said when the ball doesn’t fall you’re just not going to win and going 20/45 from 2 and 7/30 from long distance isn’t going to cut it. However, it was clear that a player who can create his own shot and find points out of nowhere was a massively missing piece for the southern reds, a piece that Amiel has in Adams who is getting used to the European style of play after featuring in the G-League and a very short stint in France.

“There’s a lot of good players ion Europe that I didn’t know of until I got here. The game is much more tactical here with more team plays and not one on one like in the States,” Adams said.

Jalen Adams – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“Jay’s one of the most talented players we have seen and you don’t have to be a basketball genius to understand that. He is developing at both the professional level and his level of understanding the game. The sky’s the limit for him if he does. At the end pf the day you can’t ignore his talent and I want to help him with that,” Amiel explained.

Kilpatrick is already that developed player who just came out and destroyed everyone in his stead hitting shot after shot whether contested or not going 4/4 from 2 and 4/7 from downtown.

After having been benched for a quarter and a half last week against Manresa, the swingman came back to do what he loves doing, “I’m a pro and I’m going to come in and do what is asked of me which is leading the team. When my team has the confidence in me and know what I can do for them and the team then the sky’s the limit. I think the coaches did a great job with our practices and with load management and we didn’t give them enough credit. I am proud of that.”

Sean Kilpatrick – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

It seems like Kilpatrick and Amiel smoked the peace pipe which is good news for Hapoel Jerusalem as they head into the Classico against Maccabi Tel Aviv coming up on Saturday night at Yad Eliyahu. It will be all hands on deck as the Reds players are well aware of what the matchup means to the fans as well as to themselves after losing to the yellow-and-blue in the preseason Winner Cup tournament. Despite not saying anything too inflammatory ahead of the clash they certainly know the importance of the game.

“No payback, we don’t look at things like that, we look to get better. That is what we focus on the most,” Kilpatrick stated confidently.

Retin Obasohan who needed 7 stitches during the game after getting tangled up with Nick Hornsby, “The rivalry is special and they got the better of us last game. We have to rest and recover well and tomorrow we can prepare.”

Retin Obasohan – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

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