Jerusalem escapes with 73-69 victory over Rishon Le’Zion, Holon slips by Beer Sheva 75-74

Dec 25, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem escaped with a 73-69 win over Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion as Retin Obasohan flirted with a triple-double in the close victory. The Reds dominated play over the course of the first 34 minutes of play as Obasohan, Suleiman Braimoh and Sean Kilpatrick led the way to a 67-55 lead with 6:44 left in the game. But Tu Holloway and Diamon Simpson had other plans as Rishon rallied to tie the contest up at 69-69 with less than a minute to go. However, just as he has done all season long, Obasohan put Yotam Halperin’s team on his shoulders and scored a driving layup to put Jerusalem up for good as Holloway missed a 3-point attempt and Kilpatrick hit his free throws to give the hosts the win.

“We came into the game in better shape and deeper than Rishon,” Jerusalem coach Yotam Halperin said. “They were able to make this game difficult and they came back. I’ve got to take off my hat to their team and interim coach Alon Stein. We were up by 16 and we made every mistake in the book. We are still very far away from playing out best basketball.”

Alon Stein and Yotam Halperin- Photo Credit:

“We started decently but allowed Jerusalem to score some easy baskets,” Stein said. “We tried to make some changes over the last few days but that wasn’t easy. We were in the game all the way to the end and some people thought that Holloway’s shot was going in but it didn’t.”

Retin Obasihan – Photo Credit:

The game MVP Retin Obasohan also reflected on the game, “It was a rough one and it’s a lesson for us. No matter who we play and no matter where they are ranked, we have to bring our best effort. Luckily today we were able to win the game but it could have gone the other way.”

Jerusalem are slated to travel to Spain on Sunday night for the final Champions League group stage game against Manresa to determine if they will finish in 2nd or 3rd place and with Play-In round home court advantage on the line. But due to a COVID-19 outbreak with the Spanish side the game won’t take place as regularly scheduled on Tuesday night and it is not het known if the matchup will occur Wednesday or on another date.

Sean Kilpatrick – Photo Credit:

Obasohan scored 21 points, grabbed 10 boards and added 7 assists, Su Braimoh chipped in with 19 points and 9 rebounds while Sean Kilpatrick scored 19 points in the win. Holloway led Rishon with 19 points and Diamon Simpson scored 14 points in the loss.

Hapoel Jerusalem came out firing from deep to get the game underway as Suleiman Braimoh went from downtown and Sean Kilpatrick nailed a pair from beyond the arc while Noam Dovrat and Netanel Artzi tried to keep Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion close but the hosts took an early 9-6 lead midway through the first quarter. Braimoh and Retin Obasohan scored, Egor Koulechov, Artzi and Tu Holloway responded but Adam Ariel hit a corner 3-ball to give Yotam Halperin’s squad a 24-18 after ten minutes of play.

Diamon Simpson – Photo Credit:

Holloway started to light it up for Rishon as they began to claw back into the game while Artzi ans Koulechov scored to put the visitors in front 29-26 with just over six minutes left in the second quarter. Jalen Adams scored his first points of the game, Obasohan hit a jumper, Amit Gershon went from downtown, Itay Segev scored as the shot clock wound down, Guy Palatin answered for Rishon but Kaiser Gates put down a dunk to give Jerusalem a 44-34 lead at halftime.

Maurice Watson, Diamon Simpson and Koulechov with a triple chipped away at the lead to get the third quarter underway but a pair of Braimoh buckets kept the Reds in front 48-41 midway through the period. Kilpatrick drilled home a corner 3-pointer, Obasohan dunked and dialled up long distance but Watson and Koulechov each went from deep to stay within striking distance down 59-50 after thirty minutes of action.

Retin Obasihan – Photo Credit:

Kilpatrick scored a floater, Obasohan added a deuce, Braimoh scored as well as Jerusalem continued to lead 67-55 with 6:44 left in the fourth quarter. Holloway and Kris Clyburn gave Rishon hope while Simpson found points inside to cut the lead to 67-65 with 4:20 remaining in regulation time. Holloway cleaned up a rebound, Kilpatrick hit a pair of free throws while Simpson cleaned up the boards to tie the game up at 69-69 with 44.1 seconds to go.

Obasohan scored a driving layup to give the Reds the lead with 12.7 seconds left while Holloway’s long distance 3-pointer came up short as Kilpatrick scored two more from the charity stripe to give Jerusalem the 73-69 win.

Hapoel Holon just snuck by Hapoel Beer Sheva 75-74 thanks to a Guy Pnini game winning basket as time ran down to capture the victory. The southern Reds held their own early but a strong second quarter by Joe Ragland and Chris Johnson gave Maurizio Buscaglia squad a 46-39 lead at halftime. However, Christoforos Livadiotis’s team came back with a big fourth quarter to take the lead in the last minute, but veteran Guy Pnini’s heroics gave Holon the important win.

Johnson led all scorers with 21 points, Ragland added 13 points and 8 assists and Michale Kyser chipped in with 13 points in the win. Dererk Pardon and Junior Etou each scored 16 points in the loss.

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