Hapoel Tel Aviv fell to Paris 104-86 to drop their EuroCup record to 11-4 on the season while the first place French club widened the gap with the Reds and now sit atop the standings with a 14-1 record. After an even opening quarter, Tuomas IIsalo’s squad began to pull away with points from TJ Shorts and Collin Malcolm as they took the lead able never looked back to take the victory.
Shorts scored 20 points and added 10 assists, Malcolm scored 15 points and Tyson Ward chipped in with 13 points in the win. Dez Wells scored 20 points as Tomer Ginat and Xavier Munford each scored 14 points in the loss.
Tyson Ward and Collin Malcolm opened the game with points for Paris, Tomer Ginat and Dez Wells as well as Bar Timor nailed a late 3-pointer to draw even at 26-26 after ten minutes of play. TJ Shorts started to heat up to begin the second quarter while Ginat and Wells answered however, points by Malcolm gave Tuomas IIsalo’s team a 51-43 advantage at halftime.
Leon Kratzer got busy for Paris to begin the third quarter while Justin Simon added points as well, Xavier Munford and Wells tried to keep Danny Franco’s team close but Shorts with 8 points at the end of the frame kept his squad ahead 78-67 after thirty minutes of action. Kratzer and Ward bumped the lead up to start the fourth quarter, Timor tried to keep Hapoel relevant but baskets by Mikael Jantunen helped wrap up the win.
The game MVP TJ Shorts said, “We were just sticking to the things we do, how we practice and push the tempo, that and the basics got us the win today.”
“Paris deserved the win,” Franco began. “They were more consistent than us and they had some good runs. We lost our focus at certain points and Paris made us pay. This game pushed us and the players to give the most. We are not in the best condition right now, but the will, effort and spirit is still there despite losing the game.”
“I hope we will get Paris again and I am sure we can do better down the road as we were playing with a new roster and we made some mistakes. We need to get better and get the W’s that we need. We always take one game at a time and the most important part is to come as fresh as possible into every game regardless of the opponent.”
In Israeli league action, Nes Ziona sunk Hapoel Eilat 80-71 as a balanced scoring attack by Elad Hasin’s squad saw five players finish in double digits to notch the win. The Red Sea squad grabbed an early 17-13 led after the first quarter, but the hosts came back with strong performances by George King, Rawle Atkins, Isaiah Whitehead and Tzuf Ben Moshe who put Nes Ziona into the lead for good.
King and Whitehead each scored 16 points while Ben Moshe and Jerome Meyinsse each added 12 points in the victory. Elijah Stewart scored 23 points and Andrew Smith chipped in with 13 points in the loss.