Nes Ziona finds themselves in 3rd place with a 3-1 record after knocking off league newcomer Kiryat Ata 93-70 as Elad Hasin’s offense and defense were humming along. Specifically speaking, with the game 45-42 at halftime Tyley Bey with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the game put the hammer down in the third quarter as the hosts took the frame 26-10.
That’s not to say that DJ Cooper with 19 points and 15 assists (how did Bnei Herzliya ever allow him to leave?) along with Jerome Meynisee (16p/10r) and defensive stopper Ronnie Harrell (18p) weren’t clutch, they all were, but Bey came out in that second half like a man on a mission looking to destroy everything in his path.
“He is a special player and very talented,” Hasin said of Bey. “But he still has to work hard because he can be even better and that is what is so great about him. It’s not just him but the entire team. This was a team win.”
Bey himself also spoke about the game that was from his point of view and his third quarter showing in which he entered the second half with just two points, “I didn’t score much in the first half so it was just rebounding the ball and playing basketball in the second half. My teammates keep me going and they are always there for me. I think we play great together.”
“I think we can’t just come out here and think we are going to win. We have to play to our best expectations every game and i think this team is very good at a high level, but when there are lows we can be really low. We have to stay at a high level of competitiveness.”
There is clearly a lot of fun happening on the court for Nes Ziona as they collect wins at a nice pace, but Hasin was pointed with his comments as to how he sees the team play thus far, “Not bad, we’re 3-1 and we know the league and how things happen. It’s easy to destroy something but very difficult to build. You need to go step by step and improve because all of a sudden you can have a poor run of results and you lose confidence. We are a young team and we have to keep working as individuals and as a team.”
The 24-year old Bey has been looking to find the best version of himself after spending some time in both the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks and in the G-League as he is making his first foray in Europe he explained.
“I love playing basketball and I feel that when I was in the G-League I wasn’t myself and I just want to get back to myself, playing comfortable and confident and keep going every game. I feel that I can play in any league, stay competitive and confident.”
While Hasin is certainly counting his lucky stars that Bey is on his team, he sees that the forward has planet of potential to become a true force, “I think that if he makes the adjustments to European basketball and works very hard he can have an incredible career.”
And that is no small compliment coming from Hasin who has coached abroad with Olympiacos as an assistant and has seen the best players of the current generation.
Bey understands what the goal is and he also is aware that the players around him are ones that can help take this team and the individual players to the next level, “We have been practicing a lot and have been here for about 2.5 months. I feel like a lot of chemistry builds at that moment. We have a great group of guys and we will all play our role and go from there. DJ Cooper is a great person and great leader both on and off the court.”
While the team signed veteran CJ Williams over the summer, he has not been able to make an impact with the team. However, when Ronnie Harrell was back on the market after having joined Ludwigsburg in the offseason following a stint last year at Hapoel Gilboa Galil , Hasin went all in to grab him because he knew full well what the swingman could offer.
“I really wanted Ronnie Harrell to come here and when I told management that he was available and a player that would be perfect for us they went for it. They put out money at this point of the season to sign him. We lost Lior Carrera and we had to make adjustments. But Ronnie and Tyler are part of a team and that is how we will win.”
With Nes Ziona playing solid hoops falling only to Maccabi Tel Aviv, the sky’s the limit according to Bey as they look to make their mark on the league, “For sure, we are definitely putting the league on notice and we are coming for everybody and I want them to know it won’t be easy to play Nes Ziona ever. My teammates know that, my coaches too and I think we have a great group of guys.”