Nes Ziona put the smackdown on Hapoel Jerusalem 99-83 as the visitors controlled the game from beginning to end with terrific shooting, fine inside play and all around intelligent basketball. Braian Angola recorded a double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds, Patrick Miller notched 25 points Jerome Meyinssee added 19 points while Kwan Cheatham chipped in with 16 points as Brad Greenberg’s team sent the Reds to this first league loss of the season. Adam Ariel led Oded Katash’s squad with 17 points and Chris Kramer added 16 points in the defeat.
Hapoel Jerusalem may have scored the first four points of the game thanks to Tashawn Thomas and Suleiman Braimoh, but a 12-0 run on the strength of baskets by Jerome Meyinsse, Patrick Miller, Braian Angola and Kwan Cheatham put Nes Ziona in front 25-22 after ten minutes. Thomas, Adam Ariel and Jamil Wilson looked to get Oded Katash’s back in the lead but Cheatham, Angola, Meyinsse and an active Patrick Miller kept Nes Ziona ahead 46-40 at halftime.
Miller got Nes Ziona off and running in the third quarter but a triple by Tamir Blatt and points by Chris Kramer and Thomas closed the gap to 54-50 midway through the frame. Raviv Limonad drilled a 3-pointer while Miller, Angola and Meyinsse continued to score as Brad Greenberg’s team continued to lead 71-62 after thirty minutes of play.
Meyinsse scored in the paint while Cheatham and Angola went from the deep as Nes Ziona’s advantage grew to 79-67 with 7:46 remaining in regulation. Angola scored pair from downtown, Miller slices his way to the basket and Cheatham buried a 3-pointer to blow away Jerusalem 99-83.
“I didn’t expect that,” said a surprised Nes Ziona coach Brad Greenberg. “We had two lackluster practices and a lackluster shoot around so I didn’t know what to except. We played aggressive to start the game off and they missed a lot of shots which allowed us to take a lead. We ramped up our aggressiveness in the second half because we knew that we would have to as they’d see coming. We had great guard play and Jerome Meyinssee was amazing helping out on pick and rolls. It was a big win.”
The game’s most valuable players Braian Angola was all smiles after the win but also understands what the club needs to continue to do in order to continue their fine play of late, “My teammates found me in the right spots and they helped me with screens and great passes. We have a great team and a good coach. We have to stay together in order to stay keep this up and that is what is most important. We have some high expectations but we have to stay together and play aggressively because that is what will be get key to our success.”
Jerusalem’s top scorer Adam Ariel reflected on his team’s poor performance, “We didn’t come into this game focussed and aggressive enough and to give up 100 points at home, that’s something that just can’t happen in any situation. Got to give credit to Brad Greenberg and his team, they played a great game, hit their shots and took the win.”
Finally, Hapoel’s coach Oded Katash didn’t mince words about the defeat, “We got our butts kicked. We have to acknowledge that Nes Ziona was better than us and wanted the game more. They took control right off the bat but being a athlete also means to understand what it means to clam down and learn from such a defeat.
“To give up 100 points in a game is much more than we should be giving up and we have to credit our opponent. We have to take a step back and realize that we can’t win every age easily. They got off to a good start, hit their shots and we didn’t react. Every team that plays us comes with a lot of energy.”
The Reds bench boss also spoke about how Malcolm Hill is doing since his return from injury last week when he featured in the pair of games Bosnia, “He still can’t find his rhythm and his hand is bothering him a bit. He’s also suffering from a little bit of insecurity.”
Hapoel Eilat travelled all the way to the northern capital and took a 107-90 win back down south. Casey Prather was once again at the top of the scoresheet with 28 points, Markel Brown added 25 points and Josh Nebo recorded another double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds for Ariel Beit Halachmi’s squad in the win. Kalin Lucas led Nahariya with 26 points in the defeat.
Ben Carter spike about yet another win for the club, “It was a great effort by the whole team. Everyone played there part in the win and it was an important win for us to keep the good momentum going for our squad. We now have a little break between games which will be a great time for us to work on a few things to stay sharp before preparing for our next game.”
Hapoel Haifa needed overtime to capture the Haifa Derby over Maccabi Haifa 100-91. Michael Brisker tied up the game at 86-86 with a 3-pointer as regulation time chem to an end, but the Reds went on an 11-0 run to start the extra frame to take the victory. Jason Siggers scored 26 points, Keenan Evans added 22 points and Lennard Freeman notched a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Roman Sorkin led the Greens with 26 points and 12 rebounds as Donta Smith and Brisker checked in with 18 points each.
Keenan Evans once again was one of the catalysts in the Derby victory, “It was big win for us and the fans. Knowing that they had been waiting for that game for so long and we were able to get the win was huge.”
The Carmel Reds recently added veteran guard Taylor Rochestie in a bold move by the club to strengthen the team after a solid start to the season, I’m glad we added Taylor to our team, he’s just another veteran guy for me to be around and soak up knowledge. He’s made a lot of money in his career and he’s just been giving me pointers every day to help my game and the team.” Sounds like Evens is a happy camper to have Rochestie in his corner.
Hapoel Holon dunked Hapoel Tel Aviv 77-63 as Willy Workman and Maxim De Zeeuw each dropped 15 points and had 8 rebounds in the win. Stefanos Dedas’s bench outscored the Reds 22-9 as Oded Brandwein with 12 points and Guy Pnini with 10 points led the attack with off the pine. JP Tokoto had his best game since joining Ioannis Kastritis’s team with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Yam Madar added 17 points in the loss.