Maccabi wins in Germany, Jerusalem falls in Lithuania

Highlights: Brose Bamberg – Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv by euroleague
Brose Bamberg 71-88 Maccabi Tel Aviv
After falling behind 20-14 after ten minutes, Maccabi took a 37-36 lead into halftime thanks to 9 points by Pierre Jackson. After a rough third quarter with a number of turnovers, Maccabi poured on the offense in the final frame outscoring Bamberg 33-12 to run away with the 17 point win thanks to Jackson’s four 3-pointers for a game high 27 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Michael Roll added 16 points, Alex Tyus dropped 12 and Art Parakhouski scored 10 points in the win. Nikos Zisis finished the game with 16 points for Bamberg in the defeat.

Pierre Jackson
“I’m a scorer and I’ve been doing it my whole life. My teammates and coach kept me confident. I don’t look at the stats, as long as we win, that’s what matters.”

Michael Roll
“We stuck to the game plan and executed well in the 4th quarter. It was a strong performance. It’s going to take some time to get used to each other but we have been helping each other get acclimated.”

Neven Spahija
“I want to congratulate my team for the great win. It’s so important for us after this summer and changing 12 players to come here and play against Brose, which is an excellent team, a very tough team and we made an important step for us. It was a great game for three quarters and we didn’t turn the ball over one time in the fourth quarter. The outstanding performance by Pierre Jackson helped us to win this game. We did a great job the last quarter. The third quarter we had some turnovers, which is our problem lately. It’s understandable, especially because this team has never played together. I think we had seven players tonight who never played EuroLeague. To win against this team, for us that’s a big step forward. Our defense in the fourth quarter and [Jackson’s] outstanding performance was really important in this game.”

Lietkabelis Panevezys 86-72 Hapoel Jerusalem
The Reds opened up their EuroCup campaign on the wrong foot falling in Lithuania by 14 points in a disappointing first game. Curtis Jerrells scored a team high 23 points going 5/8 from long distance while dishing out 6 assists, Austin Daye scored 16 points on 4/6 from beyond the arc and Rich Howell dropped 15 points for Jerusalem in the defeat. Ksistof Lavrinovic scored 20 points and Lorenzo Williams dropped 13 points for Panevezys. After Hapoel took a 42-40 into the half, a 29-14 3rd quarter by the hosts did in Jerusalem sending coach Fotis Katsikaris and his side to the loss.

Porto 83-85 Bnei Herzliya
Bnei Herzliya advanced to the group stages of the FIBA Europe Cup after winning in Portugal by two points but falling by only 1 point on aggregate after falling at home last week 68-65. Jeff Adrien scored 18 points and added 8 rebounds while Shawn Dawson added 14 points in the win. Herzliya will face Alba Fehervar of Hungary, Tsmoki Minsk from Belarus and Proximus Spirou of Belgium

Murcia 78-76 Hapoel Holon
Holon opened the game up well taking a 21-13 lead after ten minutes but the hosts chipped away at the lead and win by 2 points after a 24-18 4th quarter for the win. Tu Holloway dropped 21 points and TaShawn Thomas scored 20 points in the loss.

1) BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Pierre Jackson dropped four 3-pointers in the 4th quarter to help Maccabi to a 33-12 frame and a 17-point win. 27 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds and a 41(!) value ranking was #55’s line. Not to bad. Consider the fact that Jackson didn’t play in the Winner Cup his performance was just unbelievable. What a player, what vision, what shooting, what a star Maccabi has on their hands. Most importantly the Yellow & Blue took home the win and will now hosts Baskonia and Olympiacos at Yad Eliyahu. Spahija couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Euroleague season.

2) Of course there are some things that need to be worked on from the 3-point defense and making sure to get out on the shooters a bit quicker plus the defense down low. However, those can be worked on as the campaign goes on. DeAndre Kane and Jonah Bolden scored a total of 3 points in 26 minutes of combined play, Jake Cohen featured for 4 minutes while Itay Segev and Karam Mashour didn’t get onto the floor. The key for Spahija will be to make sure his players are content and happy when they don’t play, it’s not simple, but I’m sure the head coach and Guy Goodes know how to handle their roster going forward.

3) I know it was only the first EuroCup contest of the season, but Jerusalem will need to get their act into gear quickly after an underwhelming performance in Lithuania. Jerrells, Daye and Howell tried to keep the Reds in the game but a poor defensive effort did coach Fotis Katsikaris’s squad in. I’ve always preached that the 3rd quarter is the game’s money time and Hapoel just didn’t show up for that frame. I understand that the team didn’t have the luxury of a regular preseason because 5 players were with the Israel National Team but the majority of the players were together last year and should know how to play a bit better than they’ve showed so far. Dyson with no points in close to 30 minutes, Halperin with a goose egg in 14 minutes, 2 points from Eliyahu in 8 minutes and 3 from Timor in close to 20 minutes unfortunately won’t win any games. If I’m a Hapoel Jerusalem fan I’d be concerned. I certainly hope that management is as well. I know it’s early, but the Reds should be much better than what we have seen so far.

Congrats to Bnei Herzliya for advancing to the FIBA EuropeCup. Coach Mickey Gorka has been with the program for a number of years and I couldn’t be happier for him and his players. Jeff Adrien, Halil Kanacevic, Tauren Green and Tom Maayan were all with the team last season while Alex Rosenberg and Maccabiah graduate Sam Singer make for a fun group of guys going into this campaign both domestically and abroad. Hapoel Holon fell to Murcia in a hard fought battle but poor games offensive games from Tamir Blatt and Shlomi Harush with zero points a piece won’t be a help when you’re playing in the FIBA Champions League. Dan Shamir has some work to do with this group.

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