“These moments are why you get paid to play basketball” Workman & Jerusalem ready for European test

Oct 27, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem tipoff against STAL Ostrow on Wednesday night (21:00) in Poland in what has turned into a critical Champions League matchup which could very well determine the Reds fate in continental play this season. Oren Amiel’s squad enter the game sporting an 0-2 record after losing both European games at home while Ostrow is also 0-2 in Group B play.

With their proverbial backs against the wall there is no hiding the fact as to how important this game is for the club explained captain Adam Ariel, “This game is so important that we have to put everything else to the side as the result in this one will be critical after the first two games. It’s like a game of the season and we gave to bring it all to this game and win in Poland.”

Adam Ariel – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Veteran forward Willy Workman is also very well aware as to how critical the game is but relishes the challenge in front of the club, “This game is very important mathematically if we want to advance in Europe which is obviously a big goal of ours. We will have to win on the road and come back here and be in a better place.”

“These moments are why you get paid to play basketball. Everyone can come when their spirits are high and momentum is good. It’s easy to be gold when it’s all good. These are the moments that define you when your backs are against the wall. As a competitor that is something I love and look forward to.”

Oren Amiel – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Amiel mentioned that the team’s defense will be what will help them take the victory, “I want to our offense playing better and we have to play better defense as that is our bread and better. We didn’t play well against Maccabi Tel Aviv and we have to play better defense because that will be the key to winning.”

Of course, the heat is on and as much as Jerusalem wants to put that to the side, an early exit from Europe would spell disaster for the team after having made high profile signings over the summer which don’t seem to be working out the way they thought they would have.

“We want to reduce the pressure and the background noise ahead of the game in Poland. It starts with just two minutes (at the end of games) and if they had been different we would be speaking differently today and we would be a bit more relaxed. We have to make good plays at the end,” Amiel said.

Adam Ariel – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“We have to simply play better basketball,” Ariel commented. “The energy is there but we have a lot of players who need to learn how to play in Europe as they are in their first year abroad from the United States. Bottom line is we have to win on Wednesday.”

“I don’t think we made drastic changes over the summer and that we built a good team but need to put the puzzle together which I believe we will on Wednesday. We have to bring consistency and win our next game.”

Willy Workman – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Workman as he always does will lay it all out on the line for the team in this “game of the season”, “I pride myself that I come into every game with a sense of urgency and I have that motivation every game. We really want to win this game. Adversity can hurt most people but there is a certain type of person where it brings the best out of you and some can wear it like armor and use it as motivation. I’m committed to making that the case.”

“We lost two close games in Europe,” Ariel said. “But we are still not playing good enough basketball and we have to continue to improve as we go along. But it’s not important as to how we played and how we will play, but we have to make sure we win this game, that is what is important. Europe is huge for this club and we want to battle for every available title especially in Europe, so this is super important.”

Oren Amiel – Photo Credit: Sports Rabbi

Amiel knows full well that the club and those around it expect the team to do the best that it can but also make sure to not falter in really their first true test of the season because if they do, the Reds may be at the point of no return.

“The organization wants to win for its fans, sponsors and for everyone. We have to make sure the players are focussed with what they need to be and not speculation and that is what we want to do.”

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