Munford spurs big Hapoel Tel Aviv 2nd half comeback to down Venezia as 160 effected by war attend game in Belgrade

Dec 20, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Tel Aviv used a terrific second half to drop Venezia 100-81 and move to 9-2 in EuroCup play. John Holland and Kyle Alexander helped Hapoel Tel Aviv build up a slim lead over Venezia throughout the first half, but Jordan Parks and Rayjon Tucker led the Italians on a 14-5 run to close out the first half and grab a 47-41 lead.

Braian Angola, Jaylen Hoard and Bar Timor began to ratchet up their game and contribute in the third quarter along with Xavier Munford who made sure to send the Reds into the final frame with a 68-65 lead. Munford continued to turn up the offense while Hoard did as well while Holland drilled home a triple to end the game with 100 points and run away with the 19-point win.

Photo credit: Hapoel Tel Aviv

Munford scored 25 points, Holland added 20 points and Alexander chipped in with 18 points in the win. Rayjon Tucker scored 16 points in the loss.

Ofer Yannay and kids effected from the war – Photo credit: Hapoel Tel Aviv

In attendance at the game were 160 fans from Israel who club owner Ofer Yannay brought with to Belgrade after having been effected by the war.

John Hollander – Photo credit: Hapoel Tel Aviv

“I want to thank everyone here for making us feel at home at Stark Arena in Belgrade,” Reds coach Danny Franco began. “Super important win for us. Every week I am telling the guys that we are climbing another mountain and another mountain and it gets harder every week. We were missing some key guys but we are a team and we know how to cover up for each other. Guys stepping in for one another. It was very import for us to win here tonight as our fans were amazing guests who came here to be a part of this game and it’s a happy night. I am super happy for this win and the way we are helping each other and supporting each other as a team together.”

The bench boss also spoke about the challenges of the club’s schedule along with flying between Israel and Serbia, “We are a little short and we didn’t plan for this with flight after flight, it’s tough mentally and physically for big guys to get into a plane twice a week, but we are going one day at a time and then coming back to Belgrade. Rest and recover while coming into the next challenge like we did in this game.”

Bar Timor – Photo credit: Hapoel Tel Aviv

Captain Bar Timor reflected on the win, “We came away with a very, very important win which was not easy at all as wee missing some very important players. I am always proud of my club and today I am really proud 100 times over as we didn’t start well and we spoke about it that we could do better. we were able to get out of this together and recorded a very important win.”

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