Shooters Shoot: Golan Gutt’s 3rd quarter display plus Wayne Selden’s return spurs Nes Ziona to victory

Apr 11, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

They say that shooters shoot.

Well, that’s what we got from Golan Gutt who went off for a quartet of triples in the third quarter of Nes Ziona’s 99-75 win over Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion which moved the former closer to a playoff spot and the latter to being relegated and a trip to the Leumit League next season.

Prior to the game it was fairly clear that this contest was going to be decided by the Israeli who was going to have the better game, Gutt or Netanel Artzi from Rishon. In fact, this writer said those exact words to a number of media members on press row and lo and behold that’s what we got with 15 points from the 27-year sniper who has not had one of his best season’s from beyond the arc to say the least.

For the 21/22 campaign, Gutt has been only shooting 30% from deep which is well below his career average and the lowest in a single season since the 14/15 year when he played sparingly with Hapoel Tel Aviv. However, on this night and against his former team he went 4/7 with all of his 3-point buckets coming in a 28-11 third quarter that sent Nes Ziona onto the victory.

Lior Lubin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“He was in a zone and that is something that I am also prepared for in the first quarter of a game,” Nes Ziona coach Lior Lubin explained. “This went hand in hand with good defense and that helped our offense. I am happy for Golan and the club.”

Diante Garrett who led the team with 20 points and hit five 3-pointers of his own over the course of the game also complimented the Israeli sharp shooter, “He caught fire and it’s something that I’ve seen all year at practice and in some of the games. Tonight was one of those games that he caught fire and when he gets it going it hard to stop him.”

“At halftime we spoke about playing together and stronger,” Gutt said. “As for my third quarter I just do what I know and when it comes together it’s very hard to stop me and I am happy that is what happened.”

While Gutt went off in the third quarter to spur his team on to the win, on the other side of the court Netanel Artzi could not match his numbers with just 5 points, going ¼ from downtown which in essence decided the game. All in all, the Israeli contingent for Nes Ziona outscored Rishon’s by a huge margin 44-16 in what has been a major issue for the wine city squad all season long.

Golan Gutt – Photo Credit:

Over the past six years, Gutt has played for both Nes Ziona and Rishon Le’Zion, winning the league title with the latter back in 2016. Following the championship campaign, Gutt played with Nes Ziona for three seasons before heading back to Rishon last year and then made his return to work under Lior Lubin in 21/22.

With Gutt’s display he perhaps put the finishing touches on Rishon’s relegation to the second division as they sit in last place with only 5 wins with only 4 games remaining in the season while being two games behind Beer Sheva who are in 11th place.

This however doesn’t sit too well with Gutt, “I love both clubs. I have a history with Rishon as I was part of their first ever league championship and it’s a very organized franchise. Of course, Nes Ziona is my home, so there are a lot of emotions.”

The other wild card for Nes Ziona going forward is the return of Wayne Selden who picked up MVP honors last season in the club’s FIBA Europe Cup title. The guard began the season back in the NBA with the New York Knicks but then made his way to Afyon in Turkey until he rejoined Nes Ziona just last week.

Wayne Selden – Photo Credit:

Selden looked as if he didn’t miss a beat with 14 points in 24 minutes and he will be a key piece in the club’s success going forward. Teams across the league should be very wary of his presence as Nes Ziona is definitely poised to be a team that could create a stir down the stretch.

“Selden will be able to easily integrate into the team,” Lubin noted. “The biggest advantage is that he doesn’t need time to acclimate as he knows the league and knows the club. That is the biggest things about his arrival other than also being a great player.”

Selden, who has played 127 games in the NBA with the Pelicans, Grizzlies, Bulls and the Knicks joins another NBA veteran in Diante Garrett who featured in 90 games over the course of two seasons with the Suns and the Jazz as their experience will be crucial in the success of the club.

“He has experience,” Garrett said. “He brings that energy and has the ability to get to the basket for us and he brings a different dynamic. I think he is going to help us a lot.”

However, Gutt spoke about Selden’s most important attribute that will be an important piece to the puzzle, “Selden will help us on both ends of the floor. But it’s not only that, he’s very friendly and a team player. We have a good chance to make it to the playoffs and that is clearly our goal. The championship is also a goal. This league is wide open and that is where we are aiming for.”

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