Hapoel Tel Aviv gets by Hapoel Jerusalem, Bnei Herzliya downs Hapoel Gilboa Galil

Dec 26, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Tel Aviv came away with a 80-77 win over Hapoel Jerusalem to move into first place in a dramatic duel in the capital city. Tel Aviv jumped out to an early lead on the strength of Adam Ariel’s sharp shooting against his former team while Chinanu Onuaku and Tomer Ginat also scored at ease to go up 45-31 at halftime. But Jerusalem came storming back in the second half with fine play by Levi Randolph, Zach Hankins and Khadeen Carrington, however, Xavier Munford and Onuaku along with Ginat came up with important buckets in money time to take the statement road win.

Onuaku led the way with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, Ginat added 16 points, Munford scored 15 points and Ariel scored 11 points which all came in the first quarter for the win. Randolph who had to leave the game with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter scored 20 points, Carrington added 17 points, Hankins scored 15 points and Siim Sander-Vene chipped in with 14 points in the loss.

Chinanu Onuaku – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“We came into the game ready and had a very good first quarter,” Tel Aviv coach Danny Franco began. “We played well in the first quarter but not well enough over the course of the entire game. There was a battle, desire and I believe that we are a better team than what we saw for the final three quarters. It was a tough game to officiate and we made every mistake in the book to hand them the win.”

Alexander Dzikic and Levi Randolph – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“We have to wait for the next chance to play against them and hopefully we will win next time,” a very disappointed Aleksander Dzikic said. “We played well for three quarters, the problem is the game is four quarters and the way we played I’m not happy about it. I don’t know what happened. We let a team play and give them space and flow in offense and open shots, after that it was a different game.”

Tomer Ginat – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Tomer Ginat also spoke about the win, “Not many teams win here in Jerusalem and no doubt it was important for us. We definitely wanted to win here, but there are so many games this season and next up is Herzliya who are a good team as well.”

Siim Sander-Vene – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Sander-Vene talked about the contest from his point of view, “I can’t say it’s a good feeling (to have played well for three quarters), it’s still a loss and it hurts a bit more when you are right there and you give a lot of energy and you come in short in the end. The first quarter was a disaster and they had the flow which cost us the first half.”

Chinanu Onuaku and Zach Hankins – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Adam Ariel scored at will out of the gate with a pair of triples while Tomer Ginat and Chinanu Onuaku found points in the paint for Hapoel Tel Aviv as Levi Randolph tried to keep Hapoel Jerusalem close but the visitors grabbed a 28-16 lead after ten minutes of play.

Onuaku and Idan Zalmanson continued to dominate inside while Ginat also found points for Danny Franco’s squad as Siim Sander-Vene and Randolph looked to cut into the lead for Aleksandar Dzikic’s team but Tel Aviv kept pouring it on to take a 45-31 advantage at halftime.

Khadeen Carrington – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Zach Hankins got busy inside, while Randolph scored from the outside but Xavier Munford and Ginat countered for Hapoel Tel Aviv to stay in front 51-42 midway through the third quarter. Hankins and Onuaku exchanged dunks, Khadeen Carrington and Oz Blayzer scored as well for Jerusalem as they trimmed the lead to single digits, 59-51 after thirty minutes of action.

Vene hit a pair of triples and Carrington scored as well to get the fourth quarter underway and Hankins scored to cut the lead to 65-63 with 5:29 left in regulation time. Ginat and Timor found points but Carrington scored a number of crucial baskets as did Hankins down the stretch get to within 76-75 with 13 seconds left in the game, however the guard was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer and missed the middle free throw as Munford and Onuaku scored to give the visitors the win.

Bnei Herzliya defeated Hapoel Gilboa Galil 82-70 to chalk up their second win in a row and move into position to potentially clinch a spot in the Israel State Cup quaterfinals. Oren Aharoni’s squad grabbed a quick lead and built up the advantage to 45-30 by halftime as they cruised the rest of the way to notch the win. Quinton Hooker came close to a triple double with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists, Maurice Kemp scored 17 points and Sandy Cohen added 16 points in the win. London Perrantes paced Gilboa with 16 points and Chad Brown scored 14 points in the loss.

“We came into the game very aggressively on the defensive side of the game,” Aharoni began. “They are a team that have some dangerous players who can score in any given game. But we played well, controlled the place of play and led throughout as well while down the stretch we made some big plays in order to take the win.”

“We didn’t begin well and we had to chase the game,” Gilboa Galil coach Guni Israeli said. “In our state that is something very difficult for us to do. We tried add a few things but with our lack of confidence this is what happens when you don’t start well.”

Quinton Hooker – Photo Credit: Jacob Zaldin

The game MVP Quinton Hooker said, “I stayed focussed but it was really a team effort as guys were making shots and we stayed together. We battled and we hadn’t won in a whole at home so that was also in the back of our minds. We focussed on staying together over the last few weeks even when we were down.”

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