Hapoel Jerusalem welcomes BAXI Manresa for a Champions League Gameday 2 matchup on Wednesday at 9pm. The Reds will look to win their first game of the season in continental play to even up their record at 1-1 after a home loss to Karsiyaka last week.
Ahead of the game, Head Coach Oren Amiel who will have Anthony Bennett available spoke to the assembled media along with Sean Kilpatrick about the challenge in front of them.
“Manresa is a very good team that has an excellent veteran coach in Pedro Martinez who I admire,” Amiel began. “They play fast and quick basketball and hopefully we will be able to take the victory this time around. They have played 6 of official games so far and have been able to work together, but we will have to find a way to win. I believe that we will know how to deal with that and we have to record a positive result.”
The ACB club fell to Badalona by over 30 points a few days ago and that may provide the visitors plenty of motivation, “When a team loses by such a big amount they will come in to try and correct that result. We want to take that as a motivation for us as we know that they will come out with their guns blazing.”
Following their comeback win on Sunday at Galil Elyon, the Reds bench boss feels that the team began to come together as one, “We learnt something about ourselves and we came back from a couple of deficits which showed character.”
Sean Kilpatrick, chimed in about how having such a cruel game so early on in the season, “It’s hard but that is the type of stuff we have to deal with as point. We know how hard this game will be but we have to worry about ourselves and the more we do that the more we will be at our best. If we continue to keep playing with each other and our camaraderie is together then things should be fine.”
The veteran also reflected on the team’s win in the Galilee, “We took a huge step forward last game especially after being able to come in the second half and tilt things differently in the second half. We all know that both leagues’ format is totally different and we have to prepare totally differently with a short time limit.”
Of course last week’s loss was not an easy one with Boznie Colson hitting a game winning shot but for Kilpatrick it’s on to the next contest, “I have a thing that I call the 24-hour window. Once 12 o’clock strikes that game is not even thought of anymore. That game was a week ago and we played a game after that. At this point we are worried about Manresa and getting the win tomorrow. Our fans are a great addition and without fans showing up for the games, that is huge for us and it helps us in the BCL games as well. If we keep worrying about us it will be a good thing.”