Hapoel Jerusalem defeated JDA Dijon 86-72 and ran their Basketball Champions League record to 6-1 ending the first round of games and good for first place in their group. Chris Johnson starred for the Reds as the forward scored 17 points and pulled down 6 rebounds while Tamir Blatt dropped 15 points and added 6 assists and Amare Stoudemire chipped in with 13 points on 5/5 from the field.
Stoudemire was the game changer over the first half as STAT energized the crowd with spectacular dunks and helped Jerusalem to a 48-39 halftime lead. Dijon cut the advantage to just 72-68 midway through the 4th quarter, but coach Oded Katash inserted Blatt back into the game and the guard took control of the contest helping the host’s to the win.
Following the game the former NBA All Star spoke exclusively to The Sports Rabbi, “It was a great win for us and we feel pretty confident about the way we are playing but we still have a little ways to go so we’re still getting better as a team.”
Being a game changer:
“I try to apply my dominance every single time I’m on the court. When my teammates get me involved it’s real a game changer so I try to make sure I stay active defensively and offensively.”
About coach Oded Katash and the team:
“Coach Katash has done a great job applying his expertise to the game but we gave a great group of guys who take the game seriously and we aren’t selfish and have no ego with this team. That makes it very special for us.”