Jerusalem takes down Darussafaka, punches automatic ticket to BCL Round of 16

Dec 20, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem drubbed Darussafaka 92-69 in the final game of the opening round in Basketball Champions League action to punch their ticket to the Round of 16 group stage. The Reds came out strong with fine play by Zach Hankins, Siim Sander Vene and Khadeen Carrington as they started to pull away in the second quarter while Levi Randolph and Speedy Smith out the finishing touches on the victory.

Khadeen Carrington – Photo Credit: BCL

Hankins led the way with 18 points, Carrington and Randolph added 17 points while Vene scored 12 points on a quartet of 3-pointers and Speedy Smith handed out 8 assists in the win. Can Korkmaz scored 11 points and Lloyd Pandi added 10 points in the loss.

Aleksandar Dzikic – Photo Credit: BCL

“A win is a win, first in the group and now we have some time to regroup,” Coach Dzikic said following the win. “We are looking for a domestic player to add which is super important for us in the Israeli league. There were a lot of doubt about this group and the fact that they (Darussafaka) missed some players and some didn’t play, I gave to give them compliments. Their coach wanted to see who could he rely on for the rest of the season.”

Selçuk Ernak – Photo Credit: BCL

“They did great in the first stage,” Darussafaka coach Selçuk Ernak said. “We knew after the games last week that we would end in third seed and nothing was going to change so we were able to give a break to our injured and sick players and give players who haven’t had a chance to play that chance. We won’t have any breaks for quite some time and we have a lot of games, but we hope that we will able to succeed in the Play In.”

Vene also reflected on the game, “A win is a win and every win is important and first spot in the group is important. It wasn’t the nicest game but we got the job done. 27 assists is a nice number and it was a good team effort. We were confident but you never know how the way will go especially as an away game and the trouble we had traveling. We had a game plan and we kept to it and we had enough confidence to take it home.”

Levi Randolph – Photo Credit: BCL

Hapoel Jerusalem got off to a good start with a pair of triples from Siim Sander-Vene along with points from Khadeen Carrington but Wayne McCullough and Hakan Sayili scored as well to give Darussafaka a 24-22 lead after ten minutes of play. Zach Hankins started to score while Carrington and Vene kept finding the bottom of the basket while Can Korkmaz and Akwasi Yeboah answered for the hosts but Aleksandar Dzikic’s squad headed into halftime up 51-41.

Can Korkmaz – Photo Credit: BCL

Levi Randolph got busy in the third quarter while Hankins continued to score inside to bump the lead up to 70-54 as big man Gilad Levy came into the game and put down a number of alley oops to finish the game off and secure a place in the BCL Round of 16 Group Stage and avoid the Play In playoff series.

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