Hapoel Jerusalem blasted Hapoel Gilboa Galil 96-61 as the Reds evened their quarterfinal playoff series 1-1. Five players recorded double digits for Yotam Halperin’s team who raced out to a 32-12 first quarter lead and never looked back to retake home court advantage with pivotal game 3 coming up on Friday afternoon in the capital city.
Adam Ariel led the charge with 14 points while Jalen Adams, John Egbunu, Willy Workman and Retin Obasohan each scored 13 points in the win. London Perrantes scored 10 points and Ronnie Harrell scored 9 points in the loss.
“It’s clear that we came into the game as we should,” Jerusalem coach Yotam Halperin said. “We were dominant from the get go and that gave us the push to keep going. We didn’t do anything really different ahead of the game after last week’s loss, but players who want to be at the top of their game have to come into each contest at the top of their mental capacity.”
“Every game has its own life and while we won in Jerusalem they defeated us here,” Gilboa coach Guy Kaplan said. “We had to keep to the game plan and try to do the best we can. Before the series started we knew that we had depth issues and it was no secret but we have to find a way to compete at our as it’s clear that on paper Jerusalem is superior.”
John Egbunu also reflected on the win, “Last game was a disappointing loss for us and it’s a long series. We came out aggressive and we always want to protect home court. Last game we didn’t do that and we understood that and we didn’t want that to happen again.”
Or Cornelius put Hapoel Gilboa Galil on the board first as he drained a triple off a Derek Cooke offensive rebound, while Itay Segev scored in the paint for Hapoel Jerusalem and Jalen Adams hit a corner 3-pointer and scored a deuce to give the visitors a 10-5 lead midway through the first quarter. KC Rivers dialled up long distance as did Noam Dovrat, Suleiman Braimoh and Willy Workman scored easy baskets off the glass, John Egbunu found a trio of buckets inside to take a 32-12 lead after ten minutes of play.
Yotam Hanochi opened the second quarter with points off the glass, Adams answered from deep, Segev dunked and Workman also added points to go up 41-14 with five minutes remaining in the first half. London Perrantes scored a quick 5 points, Ariel immediately responded from downtown, Michael Brisker matched him at the other end but Retin Obasohan also went from deep. Ronnie Harrell made his first basket of the game from behind the arc, Egbunu, Workman, Braimoh and Obasohan all scored in the paint at the other end to hand Yotam Halperin’s team a 55-32 lead at halftime.
Obasohan began the third quarter just as he ended the second with points, Braimoh added a basket and Adams went from deep to bump the Jerusalem lead up to 66-35 midway through the period. Brisker and Obasohan traded baskets, Workman put in a bucket and Ariel went from downtown. On the ensuing play, Gilboa’s Yotam Hanochi was ejected for a deliberate elbow to the face of Willy Workman as he scored from the line and Egbunu added another pair of points to take a commanding 82-41 lead.
Harrell and Egbunu traded buckets to get the fourth quarter underway, seldom used Daniel Gueta scored a layup for Gilboa while Amit Gershon and Itay Segev found points for Jerusalem as both clubs cleared the benches in a garbage time galore final frame that saw the Reds take the victory.