Hapoel Eilat surprised Hapoel Holon 79-77 to punch their ticket to the WINNER CUP final on Sunday night. Holon grabbed an early lead, but fantastic play from guard Bryon Allen, along with stealth shooting by Zuf Ben Moshe and inside work by Justin Patton gave Ariel Beit Halachmi’s team the victory.
Allen starred with 22 points, Ben Moshe added 15 points, Patton chipped in with 14 points while Roi Huber scored 9 points and dished out 7 assists in the win. Ragland scored 17 points for Holon as Michale Kyser and Steven Gray each scored 15 points in the loss.
Winning coach Ariel Beit Halachmi spoke about the keys to victory, “We are still at the start of our journey but we can build on this win right now and we are still missing some players. We have been able to come together as a team and showed a lot of heart beating a club that is very good.”
The bench boss also spoke about Justin Patton who joined the team this season after playing with the Houston Rockets, “He’s a very talented player with his versatility. Justin hasn’t played a lot of basketball the last few years due to injuries and what we see now is just the tip of the iceberg. He’s young and will need to adjust to Israeli and European basketball and hopefully we can get him back to the NBA.”
Eilat jumped out to a quick lead as Byron Allen and Zuf Ben Moshe did the damage but Joe Ragland and Steven Gray got hit from deep to give Holon a 30-20 lead after ten minutes. Allen along with Ben Carter, Justin Patton and Joaquin Szuchman began chipping away at the Holon lead and grabbed a 48-46 advantage by the end of the half.
Roi Huber, Patton, Allen and Ben Moshe kept finding the basket as the third quarter began but Niv Misgav, Michale Kyser kept pace with the Red Sea squad who continued to lead 65-64 after thirty minutes.
Gray and Kyser found the hoop for Holon but so did Allen for Eilat, however, it was Zuf Ben Moshe who hit a critical corner triple off an Allen inbounds pass and then added a layup to seal the 2-point victory and a date with the winner of the Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem semifinal on Friday.