Opening up the BCL season: Holon and Jerusalem win in the shadow of war

Nov 1, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Holon defeated Bonn 75-74 to open up their Basketball Champions League campaign with a win in Germany. Bonn got off to a quick 10-0 start as Harald Frey made his mark early, however, Amine Noua, CJ Harris and Justin Smith helped Holon grab a 38-28 lead at halftime. Frey continued to do the damage for the hosts but Drew Crawford, Niv Misgav and Yotam Hanochi all found while Harris scored some critical baskets down the stretch to take the victory.

Next up for Amit Sherf’s club is a date with Bursaspor in Turkey while their first home game will take place on November 14th at AEK’s arena in Athens.

Harris led the way with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, Misgav added 12 points and Smith has 11 points in the win. Harald Frey raced the hosts with 26 points in the loss.

Amit Sherf – Photo Credit: BCL

“Very very emotional game,” Sherf began. “We dedicate this win first to our assistant coach and logistic manager who was recruited to the army and is part of the fighting with the IDF and gives us the opportunity to play basketball. We do it because we have to continue and that is our job which is to play basketball in Europe. I want thank Bonn the city and the team that hosted us here, it was more than the game, whether we win by 30 or lose by 30, we appreciate it.”

“Frey was amazing and in the end we made some good moves but it’s hard to think about basketball. We appreciate that all of our players are here, it’s hard to be away from their homes, two weeks for the Israelis and a month for the foreigners who have been living in hotels practicing in Cyprus and Athens. It’s a great thing for the organization, the club and for our country.”

Shawn Dawson spoke about the situation in Israel, “The thing that matters so much more than basketball is our country has been hurting we have all been hurting. This game was very special for us, there have been a lot of emotions in thugs game. Especially doing it here in this country (Germany), what our people have been through in this country I am just glad that we can get this W for our people, Am Yisrael Chai. Never Again. I want to send my condolences and my love and support to all in my country and who lost somebody important.”

Hapoel Jerusalem slipped by Galatasaray 99-96 in overtime as Khadeen Carrignton scored 27 points, Levi Randolph added 20 points and Speedy Smith finished with 19 points to pace the Reds to the win.

“I’m happy that we played the game, that’s a big thing,” Jerusalem heard coach Aleksandar Dzkkic said. “At the end we won, they came back and took the lead and then we came back, it was tough. We were so far from our best.”

Oz Blayzer spoke about the fans who are back home in Israel, “I want to thank all of those who supported us from afar, to all the fas who are in the army protecting us right now. The foreigners who did something great to help our entire fanbase as well. It wasn’t a great game but we took the win and we have a lot to work on, but the main thing was that we were able to make our fans happy.”

Photo Credit: BCL

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