Hapoel Jerusalem just slipped by Bnei Herzliya at the wire 89-88 as game MVP Jalen Adams scored the winning basket with just 2.4 seconds left to stun the visitors. The two squads played neck and neck throughout the entire 40 minutes which saw 28 lead changes but Adams was just too good on this night with 27 points to help Yotam Halperin’s squad to the 1-point victory.
Retin Obasohan and Chris Babb fought it out early on in the game as the Jerusalem guard notched 16 points over the course of the first quarter to give the Reds a 25-19 lead after ten minutes of play. However, Babb continued to hit his shots from downtown for Oren Aharon’s team as the visitors snatched a 44-43 lead by half-time.
KC Rivers who was making his capital city debut made his presence felt in the third frame while Jalen Adams started heating up from all parts of the court while he put down a mega dunk as the game headed into the decisive final frame with Jerusalem back in front 69-66. Shawn Dawson, Andy Van Vliet and DJ Cooper who just joined Herzliya came out strong as Herzliya clung to a 1-point lead but Adams found the winner with as time ran down to hand the hosts the hard earned win.
Adams led all scorers with 27 points, Obasohan added 24 points while Suleiman Braimoh chipped in with 12 points in the win. Babb paced Herzliya with 23 points, Dawson scored 19 point and Van Vliet added 14 points in the loss.
“It’s always better to win than to lose,” Halperin began following the game. “But it’s hard to be happy about the win as we didn’t play well. They pushed us to play their style of game and we have to get better to be able to dictate the game play going forward. It’s hard to win when you give up 88 points in a game.:
“This was a disappointing loss for us,” Aharoni lamented. “To lose in this way at Jerusalem is always painful and it’s not just the winning basket that was scored but it was also losing the battle on the boards 44-28. We didn’t close out the rebounds and Jerusalem was very dominant and that is what won the game.”
The game MVP Jalen Adams spoke about the game form his point of view, “It’s a great feeling to win the game like this against such a good team. We battled hard and while we made some mistakes we were able to win the game. Was for the winning basket, I always have confidence when I go to the basket and while they were playing zone defense I was able to find my way to the hoop.”
Hapoel Gilboa Galil eased by Hapoel Beer Sheva 72-60 as the Galilee squad jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as four players scored in double digits for Guy Kaplan’s team. Sacha Killeya-Jones led the way with 21 points, Tyus Battle added 20 points while Michael Brisker chipped in with 13 points in the important home win. Dererk Pardon scored 16 points and Travis Warech added 11 points in the loss.
Hapoel Tel Aviv smashed Nes Ziona 99-83 as James Young starred with 32 points and 11 rebounds in the blowout win. Following a tight first half, Young along with JP Tokoto, Josh Owens and J’Covan Brown helped the Reds pull away for the home conquest. Tokoto came close to recording a double-double with 15 points, 11 boards and 9 assists, Owens checked in with 14 points and Brown dished out 16 assists for Danny Franco’s squad in the victory. Tim Soares paced Lior Lubin’s club with 23 points while Frank Bartley added 18 points in the defeat.