Hapoel Holon remained perfect in Champions League play with a 82-73 win over Galatasaray to take the top spot in the group with a 3-0 record. Guy Goodes squad started off slow but soon enough picked up the pace as Joe Ragland and Erick Green were the catalysts to pull away in the second quarter and hold onto the lead for the balance of the game as the big men, Kenneth Kadji, Marvin Jones and Hayden Dalton all played an important role in the victory.
Green led the way with 22 points, Ragland added 15 points and Kadji chipped in with 11 points in the win. Dee Bost paced the visitors with 17 points, Braian Angola added 14 points and Angelo Caloiaro scored 10 points in the loss.
“I want to congratulate the team and fans who came to support us after the loss against Herzliya a few days ago,” Goodes said. “We started the game slow and shaky, but then we started to share the ball and we had 6 assists and 0 turnovers in the second quarter as we began to open up a gap. We knew to how to stop their main players.”
“We started the game well with good intensity but we lost our minds,” Galatasaray head coach Andreas Pistiolis said. “We achieved what we wanted to tactically but we missed a lot of shots and had a tough time coming back.”
The game MVP Erick Green reflected on the contest that was and playing alongside Joe Ragland, “Defense was key and we got after it in the second half. It feels good to get this win. We have another one on Sunday, so we got to get ready for that. We’re the best backcourt in the league hands downs. We’re the best 1-2 punch and we are going to keep showing it every single night and we’re on a mission to keep proving that. Whoever got us, it’s going to be a heck of a night.”
Brian Angola who played with Nes Ziona a couple of years ago spoke about the game from his point of view, “We executed the game plan well but we made a lot of mistakes and we will have to improve on that going forward. As for returning to Israel, it feels great to be playing and the fans and atmosphere is unbelievable here in Holon a place where I had played before. I feel really good, a little setback a few weeks ago but I am getting back into shape and want to help the team win basketball games.”
Joe Ragland drained a pair of 3-pointers and added a layup for Hapoel Holon to get the first quarter underway, Dee Bost, Braian Angola and Angelo Caloiaro with a baseline floater countered for Galatasaray to take a 18-12 lead after ten minutes of play.
Big men Kenneth Kadji and Marvin Jones used their outside shooting while Ragland cut to hoop to knot up the score at 19-19, Bost and Dylan Ennis both drilled home corner 3-balls to bump the lead right back up to 25-19 with 6:47 remaining in the second quarter. Niv Misgav and Ragland dialled up long distance, Erick Green put in a pair of baskets and then a triple while Frederic Bourdillon answered with one of his own as Hayden Dalton nailed a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer off a terrific play by Ragland to put Holon in front 41-35.
Chris Johnson found his first points of the game to open the third quarter, Angola responded, Dalton went from deep, Bost nailed a pair from long distance, Ian Hummer scored in the paint, but Bourdillon and Green both went from downtown to bump up the lead to 59-50 after thirty minutes of action.
Misgav went from deep, Caloiaro started to score for the visitors as did Sadik Kabaca, but Dalton came off the baseline with a floater to keep Holon ahead 64-56 with 6:20 left in the fourth quarter. Ennis went from beyond the arc and then added a layup off a break, Ragland dished off to Johnson in the corner, Jones and Kadji hit fadeaway jumpers while Green scored from the line and from the outside to wrap up the 9-point win.
Hapoel Tel Aviv fell to Turk Telekom 89-77 in a game that was never close in EuroCup action on the road. J’Covan Brown who missed the team’s WINNER Cup Tel Aviv Derby Final was ineffective in the 28 minutes he played as he scored only 2 points on a pair of free throws and missed the only 2 shots he took in the game and handed out 5 assists. Jordan McRae led the Reds with 21 points and Tomer Ginat added 20 points in the defeat that dropped their continental record to 2-1.
“We started the game well from our side,” Hapoel coach Danny Franco began. “After 4-5 minutes our intensity level dropped and we weren’t intense enough. Turk took advantage of that and I think we are naive and we allowed them to take a big lead thats as too hard for us to get back. I’m proud of the guys for saying hard to minimize the damage in the second half. There are a lot of things to take from this game for the future so that we can get better.”
Hapoel Galil Elyon downed Chemnitz 78-73 up at Kfar Blum in FIBA Europe Cup play. Jalen Hudson led the way with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Nimrod Levi added 17 points, Abdul Malik Abi chipped in with 12 points while Deishuan Booker scored a number of key free throws down the stretch to finish with 10 points in the win.
“I tried to expand the rotation because we are playing in two competitions and I want to keep the players fresh,” Galil head coach Barak Peleg explained. “The Europe Cup is different basketball than what we have in the Israeli league and we came into this game tactically very well as this team is extremely well balanced. The win showed that we can also deal with the tactical level of the game.”
Hapoel Haifa defeated Antwerp 56-55 on a last second 3-pointer by Amit Simhon in FIBA Europe Cup action in Belgium. Jalen Jones and Kadeem Allen 11 points each.
“This was a super tough game,” Simhon said. “Things didn’t come together for us the entire game, but we fought and stayed in the contest. There is no one more satisfied than me that the team trusts me at the end of the game and we are coming home as satisfied as can be.”