Rip Off – Jerusalem defeats Bamberg 88-85

Hapoel Jerusalem recorded an impressive win on the road at Brose Bamberg 88-85 thanks to a solid final frame that saw Jerusalem outscore the host’s 26-18 in t final frame which included a 14-3 run to begin the quarter. The victory moves the Reds into first place in Group C of the Basketball Champions League with a 5-1 record. James Feldeine led the way for Jerusalem with 18 points and 6 assists, Josh Owens dropped 17 points and pulled down 9 rebounds, J’Covan Brown added 13 points while Tashawn Thomas (12p), Amare Stoudemire (11p) and Tamir Blatt (10p/6a) all finished the game in double digits. Augustin Rubit with 27 points and Stevan Jelovac with 20 points were the high scorers for Bamberg.

Jerusalem and Bamberg played to almost an even half as the host’s took a slim 43-41 lead into break with Josh Owens (11p) and Tamir Blatt (10p) matching the duo of Jelovac and Rubit point for point. Bamberg pulled ahead after thirty minutes with a 67-62 advantage but the final quarter was decisive as the Reds ripped off a 14-3 run to open the frame which created just enough separation to snag the win. Tyrese Rice missed a last second 3-pointer to tie up the game as Jerusalem escaped one of the toughest arenas in Europe with the victory.

1) This is what you call a team win. Six players in double figures, solid passing, quality rebounding and intelligent play across the board by the Jerusalem players gave them the well deserved win. You could see how happy coach Oded Katash was after the game, he was actually close to ecstatic which for him is really something. “That’s a big one for us against a well coached team and a tough group of players, I got to give respect to Bamberg. We were lucky in the end as we didn’t execute in the first half. We were lucky to be only down two at halftime but we came out with better energy and more aggressiveness that won the game for us,” commented the coach. “This is my second year in a row coming out here to Bamberg and the crowd is amazing and you can feel that this is a great organization. It’s nice to be here especially to come out with the W.” Thank you very much for coming and taking that W.

2) Josh Owens had a superb game coming up just one rebound shy of a double double. The center began the scoring and scored and scored and scored going a perfect 6/6 from the field. He’s a consummate professional, played a terrific game and spoke about the keys to the victory, “We wanted to come in and stick to our defensive principles. We know that Brose Bamberg is a very talented experienced team and we were very fortunate to come out with the win.”

3) Tashawn Thomas is fitting in like a glove since joining the team a couple of weeks ago after his substance abuse suspension ended. The way he has played it’s as if he’s been with the team for years. He’s an important piece of the pie and has looked marvelous playing the 4. Add to that the fact that he scored the final four points for Jerusalem and you have one key player. “It was a tough game but we stayed together the whole game and came out with a W, a very good W. Just going in and doing good in the Champions League is big for us and builds our confidence going into the rest of the season.” Thomas also spoke about how he’s been adjusting since returning to action, “I felt my game started a little slow but as the games are coming on, I’m getting back and back and I’ll keep doing that.”

1) What can you say about James Feldeine that hasn’t been said before. Feldeine has been super this season for Jerusalem and he’s such a lethal shooter it’s scary, add to that his ability to fearlessly take the ball to the hoop and take the big shot and you have a true winner. “It’s a big win for our group. They’re one of the top teams in our group and to be forced to win in the road verysus anybody is big. And to play against a team like this who should be in Euroleague it’s a big win and good for our confidence.”

Hapoel Holon defeated Bonn 94-74 in a game that was never close as Corey Walden scored 17 points, Khalif Wyatt dropped 16 points while Dequan Jones added 14 points in the win which moves Holon into third place in their Champions League Group with a 4-2 record.

Nes Ziona fell on the road at Den Bosch 102-87 in Europe League play and now feature a 3-2 record good for third place in their group. Daequan Cook starred with 22 points and 9 rebounds as Golan Gutt sported 17 points in the loss.

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