Israel basketball 224.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Hapoel Galil Elyon's season went from bad to worse on Tuesday night after the team lost 79-74 to Austrian champion Swans Gmunden in its ULEB Cup debut at Kfar Blum.
Galil lost in its first two BSL games by 22 and 23 points, respectively, and showed no signs of improvement on Tuesday. The team looked lost for most of the game and trailed its semi-professional opponent throughout the encounter.
"Every defeat is painful. We're losing confidence and are playing worse and worse," Galil coach Eli Kaneti said on Tuesday. "We have a problem in defense and our leading players are tired. We're simply going through a very bad period."
Gmunden, which is guided by Israeli Bob Gonnen, stuck to the basics on Tuesday and its celebrations at the end of the encounter revealed how shocked they were by their win.
"I was surprised we won," a beaming Gonnen said after the game. "I don't know where my players found the strength. I told them how important this game was to me and they played their best game of the year."
Clif Brown led Galil with 20 points, with Mike Campbell adding 19 points. Yogev Ohayon was the best Israeli on court, scoring 12 points, passing seven assists and grabbing five rebounds.
Deteri Mayes top scored for the winners, contributing 27 points, with Ian Boylan adding 12 points.
The visitors opened the game with a 14-4 run and led by four points (27-23) at the end of the first quarter. Gmunden maintained its advantage until the break (46-41), but Galil finally managed to go into the lead in the third period, thanks to Brown's basket (56-55). The hosts, however, wouldn't remain ahead for long, with Gmunden taking a 62-61 lead into the final period.
The Austrians couldn't shake off Hapoel, but maintained their slender lead during the entire fourth quarter to clinch the surprising win.