“If we play like this against Peristeri we would definitely lose” Tashawn Thomas on Jerusalem’s performance at Holon! The Reds edge the Purples 115-112 in thriller! Analysis, news, notes, quotes & more!

1) To say that Oded Katash wasn’t impressed with the Hapoel Jerusalem defense against Hapoel Holon would be the understatement of the season. The Reds gave up 112 points but thanks to a 44-point second quarter were able to pull off the 115-112 win at Holon. Defense was just nowhere to be found and if Katash’s crew comes out to play the same way on Wednesday against Peristeri in the Round of 16 Champions League playoffs there will be trouble. “This isn’t how I thought we would come out to play after the break,” said a disgruntled Katash. “Not with the energy that we had and how we didn’t play our style of basketball. I don’t know if it was because of the break or the hour of the game, I can’t put my finger on it. If we play like this against Peristeri where we are shooting well then maybe we will win by a point. This game raises many concerns and as a coach you can’t be happy about a win like this.” James Feldeine was also a bit disturbed about the lack of defense and wanted to put it out of his mind very quickly, “We have to forget about it. Got to move on and try to get better, we all now Wednesday is more important especially being that it’s at home in front of all of our fans.” Finally, Tashawn Thomas feels that if his team plays the way they did on Friday against Peristeri it will be bad news for the Reds, “We would lose definitely. Coach said we have to get back to defense. We can’t come back from a break and play like that. We have to definitely improve our defense.”

Dov Halickman Photography

2) For the fans the game was great. End to end action, high scoring, terrific shooting and it was the closest you’ll get to a regular season NBA game. For the fans it’s one thing, for Katash as he mentioned it only gives him worries. While the players may have been happy to take part in a track meet, it’s not the style of game that Katash likes to play. “I don’t think anybody from Jerusalem is happy about this win because of how bad we did on defense,” explained Thomas. “But the fact that as bad as we did on defense and still won is something we can know of take away.” However, still wasn’t impressed and when I asked him about the game being like an NBA game, Feldeine who was sitting next to him had this to say, “You got him mad again, he doesn’t like the NBA.” To which Katash said, “No I don’t.”

Dov Halickman Photography

3) On the Holon side, Stefanos Dedas squad won three of the four quarters, the only problem, was that they gave up 44 points in a brutal second frame that in essence cost them the game. Marcus Foster who scored a game high 37 points was shooting lights out looked back at this game compared to the last time the two tipped off against each other, “Last time I wasn’t aggressive as I was tonight and I picked my times and spots and didn’t dribble too much. I’ve very been working on that, but it’s tough they have so many good players and we had to play better defense. In my eyes, Jerusalem is the best team in the league.” Coach Dedas echoed his star’s comments about being a better team since the first time they played each other which was also his first game as bench boss, “You can see that we have improved as we moved from 9th to 4th. We played more of a conservative game and today I tried to play face to face with them. I felt good after a 30 point first quarter but they scored three after three after.”

Dov Halickman Photography

Holon certainly is a better team that two months ago and will be threat in the playoffs as the season winds down. With a solid roster which now includes Manny Harris, Dedas’s team has the ability to raise an eyebrow or two. Feldeine is aware of that as well, “We played well, but they are a good team with a lot of options. Hopefully we don’t face them in the playoffs because they are going to be tough.”

Dov Halickman Photography

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