Jerusalem downed STAL Ostrow 83-76 to win their first Basketball Champions League group stage game of the season. The Reds started slowly as the visitors controlled the pace of play throughout the first half taking a 42-34 lead at halftime.
But Yotam Halperin’s team snatched the lead by the end of the third quarter thanks to strong play by Retin Obasohan and Willy Workman as they continued scoring during the final frame to record the victory.
However, despite the win the Reds didn’t make up the 11 point difference from last matchup between the two clubs in Poland and would not have a tie breaker for the play in spot should they be tied on wins after group play ends. Jerusalem’s final two group games will both be on the road at Karsiyaka and Manresa.
Obasohan scored 20 points, Jalen Adams added 13 points and Willy Workman chipped in 11 points in the win. Kobi Simmons led all scorers with 21 points and James Palmer added 15 points in the loss.
“I can split the game into two halves,” Halperin began following the win. “We weren’t aggressive enough in the first half and didn’t go to the free throw line enough but we came out much better in the second half. Even if we didn’t make up the point difference it was a big win for us.”
“We controlled the game for 2.5 quarters but we committed 20 turnovers and you can’t win on the road if you commit so many,” explained STAL coach Igor Milicic. “We had players injured and they showed huge character by coming back and we were better in both games and we hold the point difference. We were disorganized in the third quarter and let them score some easy points and the fans helped them.”
STAL Ostrow got to work early with baskets from Kobi Simmons and Michael Young to take a 9-3 lead midway through the first quarter. Jalen Adams checked in with points for Hapoel Jerusalem but James Palmer, James Florence and Trey Drechsel answered for the visitors to stay in front 23-15 after ten minutes of play.
Drechsel opened the second quarter with points, Adam Ariel went from deep, Anthony Bennett added points in the paint while Ariel and Denzel Andersson traded triples as Ostrow continued to lead 28-23 with 6:30 left in the half. Andersson went from downtown again, Simmons added points from beyond the arc but Sean Kilpatrick put in a layup as did Retin Obasohan while Kaiser Gates dialled up long distance but Palmer dunked and Florence hit a corner 3-pointer to keep the lead 42-34.
Obasohan and Willy Workman scored the first points of the third quarter, Simmons and Palmer went from deep but Kilpatrick scored a pair of buckets to keep Yotam Halperin’s squad hanging around and down by only 3-points 49-46 midway through the frame. Gates and Andersson traded 3-pointers, Obasohan scored in the paint and added a layup while Ariel did the same to push Jerusalem into the lead 62-58 after thirty minutes of action.
Drechsel and Palmer each scored 3-pointers, Jaroslaw Mokros put in a layup while Workman did on the other side to keep the Reds in front 70-68 with five minutes left in regulation time. Simmons went from deep but Obasohan scored a pair from beyond the arc to give Jerusalem the win but not by enough to give them an advantage for the play in spot should the two teams be tied after group play ends.
Hapoel Gilboa Galil defeated Zaragoza 80-78 in Spain to notch their first win in FIBA Europe Cup action. Michael Brisker scored 24 points, Yotam Hanochi added 19 points and Sacha Killeya-Jones-Jones chipped in with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win as the Galilee squad is now 1-4 in group play with no chance of advancing to teh next round.
Hapoel Eilat sunk Kyiv 71-62 to move their record to 3-2 which is good for first place in their respective group. Bryon Allen led teh way with 19 points and 13 assists while Shaheed Davis added 14 points in the win.