Hapoel Beer Sheva squeaked by Nes Ziona 85-83 in a tight game at Lev Hamoshava. Terrific games from Caleb Agada, Evan Bruinsma and Spencer Weisz led Rani Hadar’s squad to their second win in as many games. With the score 85-83 and seven seconds remaining Weisz could have iced the game from the line, but the Beer Sheva Captain Weisz, uncharacteristically missed his free throws setting up a final chance for the hosts to take the win. However, Golan Gutt missed a potential game winning triple as the southern reds escaped with the dramatic victory.
Caleb Agada and Evan Bruinsma each scored 19 points while Spencer Weisz and Joe Furstinger each added 14 points in the win for Beer Sheva. Cameron Oliver scored 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, JP Tokoto came close to a triple double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists and Rayvonte Rice chipped in with 15 points.
1) Caleb Agada has been arguably the best new foreigner who arrived in Israel to finish the 2019/20 season. The Canadian/Nigerian baller has put on quite the show so far in the Holy Land and can do almost everything on the court. After attending the University of Ottawa in Canada played in the Spanish league’s second division while also featuring for a summer with the Hamilton Honey Badgers. His experience in Spain has definitely showed under Rami Hadar who once again found a hidden gem to go along pretty much with all of his import signings in Evan Bruinsma, Joe Furstinger and Amir Bell.
The guard spoke about the game that was, “I’m happy with my performance, I made some mistakes but I feel like my positives outweighed them and my teammates were able to make up for them. I just have to continue working hard to fix those mistakes and be better.” Agada also talked about how he has been able to fit in so well, so quickly, “I feel I’ve been able to fit in so easy because my teammates, coaches and the club are great. I’m really happy to be here and I think it shows in my play.” Coach Rani Hadar also praised his new player, when we were having a tough time a number of plays by Caleb were able to inspire and strengthen us.”
Agada also spoke about the importance of battling racism and his feelings on the issue, “The struggle for racial equality in North America is something that makes me appreciate what I do and pushes me to be the best I can be. Black Lives Matter and I support all my brothers and sisters fighting back home.”
2) Veteran center Ben Eisenhardt who got the surprise start players a terrific defensive game messing up Nes Ziona’s plans. He also reflected on the game that was, “Every team is developing chemistry on the fly, and you can see that with us too. In both of our games we have high points and low points, and we’ve got to learn from that. That aside, opening this phase of the season with two wins is a testament to all the work the players and staff have been putting in this month.” Great work from the big man.
3) How about Rami Hadar? What did he have to say about his team’s showing so far? “We have a great group of guys and they are hungry. It’s a real treat to work with them and they deserve all of the credit. We were able to press all game long which paid off and we are able to compete evenly against a team that was able to rebound and that also played into our favor.”