Hapoel Jerusalem defeated Galatasaray 85-70 in a Basketball Champions League game that was played in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to the security issues with playing the game in Turkey. The Reds have a 3-1 record in Group G action with two games to go as they look to move into first place and knock PAOK off of their perch in order to avoid parching in the Play In playoff ahead of the second group stage.
Hapoel Jerusalem took control of the game from the outset as Brynton Lemar, Khadeen Carrington and Levi Randolph all scored at will while Goksenin Koksal answered, however, the Reds took a 45-30 lead over Galatasaray at halftime. Maurice Ndour, Carrington and Randolph all continued to score in the second half as Ismet Akpinar tried to keep the Turkish side close to no avail as Aleksandar Dzikic’s squad took the win.
Carrington and Randolph led the way with 17 points each while Ndour and Lamar each scored 13 points in the win. Akpinar scored 18 points and Koksal added 11 points in the loss.
“I want to say a big thanks to basketball club Galatasaray for hosting this game in Laktasi,” Dzikic began. “Nothing changed since teh first game and I am sad that we are not playing with fans. Thanks to teh BCL for finding a way to have this game and thanks to Igokea to help us with every type of logistics. Maybe we played a bit better than them but at the end we won that was not the first impression I had from the game.”
Oz Blayzer discussed the game that was as well as returning home to begin Israeli league play next week, “It wasn’t an easy situation that we are dealing with as there is so much time between games, but the coach and staff really have been working with us and the practices have been intense. We could still see that we were a bit off with our play in this game but we played well on defense and this was an important win for us with two games to go.”
“I’m happy to get back home after being abroad but I don’t know what the situation is with games and if we will see the fans in the stands. We are happy to get back home and this win was for all of our fans, soldiers and all of our supporters.”
Reds captain Levi Randolph spoke about being able to put in a solid performance while playing very sparingly over the past couple of months as well as not being able to play in front of fans.
“This is a testament to our team and the hard work we put in we never stop working, every day we come to practice with the goal of getting better, that is the main thing. Coach and staff put us in a great position and we just have to execute. At the end of the day we have to do what the coach wants of us and we were able too do this in this game.”
“It’s tough, as a player when the lights come on you want to be in front of the crowd that is the main thing and we grew up dreaming of that. We miss our fans and everyone back in Jerusalem being in the Arena with us and we look forward to some day being able to play in front of them again.”
Brynton Lamar also spoke following the game, “I want to thank all of the Hapoel fans watching the game back at home, this win was for them and I appreciate the support. I am glad we played well and got the win.”