Sep 8, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem defeated Turk Telekom 87-79 in their first game in the exhibition tournament in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Thursday evening. New recruit Brynton Lemar (23 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals), newly-appointed team captain Levi Randolph (17 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal) and star center Zach Hankins (12 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block) led the scoring for Jerusalem, while James Palmer Jr (25 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist), Tyrone Wallace (16 points, 57 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal) and Markis McDuffie 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 1 block) starred for the Turkish EuroCup team.

“We started out really, really pressuring them on defense, getting a lot of fast break points and just moving really well on offence,” Hankins said after the game. “We got a little too comfortable when we had an 18-point lead and then let them get back into the game, we definitely have a lot of things to get a lot better at, a lot of specific things in our system that need to be ironed out. But it’s a good win, but it also shows that there are a lot of things that we need to get better at and hopefully we can gain a lot as the season goes on and keep getting better and better.”

Jerusalem will play against EuroLeague team Partizan Belgrade in their next game on Friday night.

“It’s not just preseason random games anymore, there’s definite added competitiveness playing against high-level teams,” Hankins said of the tournament. “We have stuff to prove, that we’re still as good as last year and that we can be better, so it definitely adds some drive for our team.”

There were also four exhibition games played on Israeli soil on Thursday.

Antonius Cleveland – Photo Credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv

Reigning League Champions Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated last year’s semi-finalists Hapoel Holon 89-68 at Yad Eliyahu in the Yellow & Blue’s first practice game of the preseason. Returning center stars Nebo (11 points and 2 rebounds) and Bonzie Colson (9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks), together with new recruits Antonius Cleveland (10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks) and James Webb III (9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal) led the scoring for Maccabi. For Holon, new recruits Ahmad Caver (16 points and 4 rebounds) and Amine Noua (12 points, 10 rebounds and 1 assist), together with the returning Shawn Dawson (13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists) and CJ Harris (10 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals), were in double-figures.

Hapoel Beer Sheva / Dimona had a home victory over Ironi Nes Ziona 96-90. New recruits JaKeenan Gant (20 points), Geno Crandall (12 points) and Kris Bankston (11 points) led the scoring for Beer Sheva. New imports Dusty Hannahs (22 points) and Demonte Harper (13 points), together with returning captain Jerome Meyinsse and new recruit Itay Segev (12 points each) were in double-figures for Nes Ziona.

Bnei Herzliya also won at home, defeating Hapoel Eilat 70-69. New imports Reggie Lynch (18 points) and Ryan Boatright (15 points) led the scoring for Herzliya, while new import Elijah Stewart (14 points), together with former Holon stars Tyrus McGee (14 points) and Michale Kyser (10 points), were in double-figures for Eilat.

Newly-promoted Maccabi Ramat Gan defeated Ligat Ha’al team Rishon Lezion 106-102 away. New imports Kendale McCullum (22 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals) and Phil Greene IV (15 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals), together with former Hapoel Tel Aviv stars JP Tokoto (20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals) and Adam Ariel (16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks), topped the scoring for Ramat Gan. Rishon was led by veteran import Jimmy Hall (26 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block), former Kiryat Ata player Shalev Lugashi (21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal) and new import Vince Cole (17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal).

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