“We’ve missed the fans the past 2 months” Hoard and Hapoel Tel Aviv roll to win over Eilat

Dec 17, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Tel Aviv crushed Hapoel Eilat 112-76 as the Reds featured five players in double digits to move to a perfect 4-0 in Israeli League play. The Red Sea squad gave the Reds fits in the first quarter but from the start of quarter number two it was all Hapoel Tel Aviv all the time as Xavier Munford, Jaylen Hoard and Kyle Alexander did as they pleased to a short Eilat squad to notch the victory. Next up for Danny Franco’s team is a date with Venezia back at the EuroCup home in Belgrade.

Jaylen Hoard – Photo credit – Yehuda Halickman

Hoard led the way with 22 points, Munford added 21 points and Alexander scored 19 points in the win. Deishuan Booker scored 24 points and Elijah Stewart chipped in with 20 points in the loss.

Danny Franco – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“This was a better game than our last one,” Franco said. “We didn’t have any energy and we were slow on Friday against Nes Ziona. There are a lot of reasons why that was the case, this was our fourth league game and with the EuroCup contests travel is tough without direct flights and it’s just not great all around. I told them that they had to come in and play with energy and do what we usually do. We had a good second quarter and we were able to pull away.”

Max Menetti – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

“This game wasn’t easy and struggled,” Eilat coach Max Menetti said. “It’s not easy to face games like this hen we have issues with our roster and we have a team that was built only ten days ago. We don’t have the instruments to face the opponent mentally. Now we are looking at the next game and it’s not easy to be in an arena like this and it’s very difficult for us to compete.”

Idan Zalmanson and Jaylen Hoard – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Jaylen Hoard also reflected on the game with a packed house of fans, “It was amazing and we have been missing them a lot over the past two months. When we came out and warmed up I felt the adrenaline and it got us going.

The big man also spoke about his video series which recently had a chapter about the Hams massacre that occurred on October 7th, “It was a crazy situation and very unfortunate and I wanted to share that with people who weren’t familiar with it. Lots of people weren’t talking about it and I wanted to give them something about what had happened. It was very important for me to talk about it.”

Xavier Munford – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Jaylen Hoard and Xavier Munford got busy early on for Hapoel Tel Aviv Elijah Stewart scored from the outside and on the inside for Hapoel Eilat, Kyle Alexander put down a dunk for the Reds, Deishuan Booker began to score for the Red Sea squad but Idan Zalmanson and Hoard scored at the end of the period to give the hosts a 26-24 lead after ten minutes of play.

John Holland and Gil Beni – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Zalmanson and Gil Beni started the second quarter off with points to force the visitors to call timeout, but Munford kept scoring in bunches from deep, off the glass and a 3-point play, Booker tried to pull points back but John Holland dialled up long distance for a pair of triples as Danny Franco’s team took a 55-34 advantage into halftime.

Kyle Alexander – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Sacar Anim tried to trim the lead as the third quarter began, while Yehonatan Levy and Stewart also scored but Bar Timor, Hoard and Alexander kept Hapoel comfortably in front 76-59 after thirty minutes of action. Beni went from deep, Hoard scored inside Munford went from deep and added a layup while Hoard put down a massive dunk to send Hapoel to the easy win.

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