Holon downs Oostende to grab 1-0 BCL Play In series lead

Jan 3, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Holon defeated Oostende 80-70 to take a 1-0 lead in their Basketball Champions League best of 3 Play In Series. The Purples got off to a solid start with points from Shawn Dawson and Justin Smith while CJ Harris was dishing out the assists but Khalil Ahmad helped pull his side back into the game as Holon went into halftime sporting a 46-41 lead. After a close third quarter, Yotam Hanochi and Hans Vanwign scored points a plenty down the stretch to close out the win.

Smith led the way with 18 points, Dawson added 14 points, Vanwijn chipped in with 13 points and CJ Harris scored 11 points and dished out 9 assists in the win. Khalil Ahmad scored 18 points and Simin Buysse scored 13 points in the loss.

Amit Sherf – Photo credit: BCL

“It’s a series and not just a game as we have to think about the next game and focus on the adjustments that they will do and what we will do,” Holon head coach Amit Sherf said. “The defense was crucial and we didn’t want to let the big guys get into the game as well as Sam Van Rossom but we have to be ready for the next game. We miss our fans and they will have a crowd and we will have to be ready for that.”

Dario Gjergja – Photo credit: BCL

Oostende head coach Dario Gjergja reflected on the game, “We have some issues it was Van Rossom’s first game after three weeks and there were other injuries but against a team like Holon we showed them too much respect and they were super physical in the first half. You always ask all five guys to be aggressive we bounced back in the second quarter and we came close but we couldn’t get past that and while we didn’t execute they punished us. Our turnovers were key as they scored over 20 points from that.”

Justin Smith – Photo credit: BCL

Justin Smith who was named the game’s MVP spoke about the victory, “As a group we were together and we played unselfish with 18 assists, we put our own agendas aside played hard and executed the game plan. At the end of the day we made plays. We never really gave up when they made a couple of runs. We stuck together and really wanted this win.”

Shawn Dawson – Photo credit: BCL

Matthias Tass also spoke about the contest, “We weren’t ready for the physicality from their side from the first minute on and our turnovers led to a lot of easy points. We had trouble scoring and defending but it’s just they first game of the Play In and we will make our adjustments. We have to be more physically ready and mentally ready. We had a chance to take the lead but we had some careless shots and we will have to take care of that in the second game.”

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