Hapoel Holon slammed Maccabi Haifa 105-69 in a game that saw the hosts hit 21 3-pointers to tie a league record. Stefanos Dedas’s squad scored early and often as Chris Johnson led the charge with 19 first half points to take a 54-32 lead by the half and cruise to the easy win.
Johnson led all scorers with 22 points and 7 rebounds, Frederic Bourdillon added 17 points while Oded Brandwein chalked up 13 points and 8 assists in the victory. Donta Smith scored 15 points and Michael Brisker chipped in with 14 points in the loss.
1) Holon grabbed a 28-9 lead after the first quarter and salted away the game very, very early. Coach Dedas was very happy following the win, “This shows us the character of the team especially after the win over Maccabi Tel Aviv a few days ago. We opened the game in an amazing way and shows the good future for the team and we have a good mentality. We looked more healthy and balanced. The only thing that was difficult was not being able to dress Tyrus McGee.”
2) The catalyst in the win was Chris Johnson who has been coming out of the gate shooting in almost every single game. CJ who played for Hapoel Jerusalem a couple of seasons ago is a winner in every sense of the word and a guy that you want to go to war with day in and day out. “We just played together for 40 minutes,” Johnson said about the win. “It’s the work we put in during practice. Guys were wide open and knocking down shots. If the first one doesn’t go in just kept shooting.”
As for how he’s able to begin every game with a bang, Johnson spoke from the heart and looked at being able to plat the game as a blessing, “It’s my mentality and I always have a chip on my shoulder. During this COVID-19 time we’re blessed to play basketball. Every time I come out to play basketball I take advantage of that because a lot of people don’t have jobs. we’re fortunate to have this opportunity and I want to make the most out of it.”
3) You’ve got to feel for Coach Daniel Seoane after having to watch another tough to swallow loss. I’ve seen Maccabi Haifa live a couple of times this season and in both games the Greens were nowhere to be found. Can the bench boss pull his team out of the current situation? “We can do many things, first we can’t feel sorry for ourselves and try to raise the energy. No one died here and we still have a long season to go and a lot of things to fix. The good thing is that we can’t play worse.”
Hapoel Beer Sheva downed Hapoel Jerusalem 76-73 in Balkan League action. Rami Hadar’s southern reds were up 52-43 after thirty minutes but Oded Katash’s Capital City squad made a frantic comeback that just fell short as Spencer Weisz hit a big time triple with 6.6 seconds left in the game to wrap up the win. Amir Bell led Beer Sheva with 14 points, Amit Suss added 12 points and Weisz scored 10 points in the win. Suleiman Braimoh was Jerusalem’s high scorer with 21 points and Idan Zalmanson scored 18 points in the loss.