Nes Ziona squeaked by Hapoel Galil Elyon in overtime 95-92 as the game was played behind closed doors up north by the Lebanon border in Kfar Blum. The Galilee team came into the contest with only one foreign player in James Feldeine and the odds heavily stacked against them but Roi Huber willed the matchup into the extra session. However, veterans Itay Segev and Jerome Meyinsse along with newcomers Rawle Alkins and Jacobi Boykin helped Elad Hasin’s squad to the hard earned victory.
Alkins led the way with 21 points, Boykins added 20 points while Meyinsse scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Huber scored 20 points, Feldeine chipped in with 19 points and Lior Carrera scored 11 points in the loss.
“It was a big win and not just the game itself,” Hasin said. “We arrived here and heard booms every five minutes. We saw so many soldiers, a battalion and for the imports it was shocking. I don’t know how the league approved playing this game here.”
“I am disappointed but I am proud of the guys despite the situation that we are all in,” Galil coach Barak Peleg said.
Maccabi Ironi Ramat Gan defeated Hapoel Jerusalem 79-73 as JP Tokoto helped his squad pick up their second win in as many games to begin the season.
The Reds came into Ramat Gan with only four regular players as the balance of the club’s imports along with head coach Aleksandar Dzikic remained at their home away from home in Belgrade due to the security situation. In addition to the regulars, the Reds also had a number of youth players as well as their team manager Adi Cohen Saban playing after coming out of retirement.
On the other side of the floor, Ramat Gan came in with a full complement of players, but that didn’t stop Jerusalem from keeping the game close over the course of the first half with Or Cornelius leading the way, however, JP Tokoto and Adam Ariel made sure to keep the hosts in front at halftime 44-39. Cornelius kept scoring to keep Jerusalem very close, but Tokoto was unstoppable down the stretch as the hosts picked up the win.
Tokoto scored 23 points, Ariel added 12 points and Jordan Cohen chipped in with 11 points in the win. Cornelius scored 23 points while Yovel Zoosman and Oz Blayxer each had 11 points in the loss.
“We had a bit of a drop off in this game and we wrest as good as the last one,” Ramat Gan coach Shmulik Brenner said. “There are some things that we need to deal with to become the team that we want to be.”
“We are disappointed with the loss but we fought hard for this game and that is what I will take away form it,” Jerusalem assistant coach Shai Olerarczyk explained. “We kept coming back and we didn’t give up at all. I hope that in the next game against Afula we will look better.”