Hap J’lem tops Ashdod; Rishon edges Bnei Hasharon

Hapoel Jerusalem looks set to face Maccabi Tel Aviv for the first time this season after advancing to semifinals of Chance Cup.

October 10, 2011 12:29
2 minute read.
Hapoel Jerusalem coach Oded Katash

Hapoel Jerusalem coach Oded Katash 311. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)

Hapoel Jerusalem looks set to face Maccabi Tel Aviv for the first time this season on Tuesday after advancing to the semifinals of the Chance Cup on Sunday night.

Jerusalem was missing three key players in the injured Brian Randle and the newly-signed John Thomas and Avery Bradley, but it still managed to beat Maccabi Ashdod 75-64 at Malha Arena following an erratic performance.

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Hapoel opened a six-point lead (19-13) in the first period, but Ashdod remained in touch and trailed by just two points (33-31) at halftime. However, Jerusalem outscored Ashdod 21- 12 in the third quarter to increase its margin to double-figures (54-43) on its way to a relatively comfortable win.

Luke Jackson impressed in his debut for Jerusalem, scoring 20 points and showing plenty of promise.

Elishay Kadir and D.J. Strawberry added 14 points each for Hapoel, with Craig Brackins scoring 17 for Ashdod.

Barring a stunning upset, Jerusalem will play Maccabi Tel Aviv in Tuesday’s semis, with the yellowand- blue first needing to defeat Barak Netanya on Monday night.

Earlier Sunday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion became the first team to secure its place in the semifinals, beating Bnei Hasharon 78-75 in a game that showed that both teams are still far from ready for the start of the BSL season next week.

A 14-2 run in the closing stages of the first period gave Rishon a seven-point lead (24- 17) after 10 minutes, only for Bnei Hasharon to move in front with an 18-4 surge (30-28).

But Roei Hagay’s team couldn’t build on the momentum and it was Rishon which held a doubledigit margin at the break (51-41).

Effi Birenboim’s men were still in control with 10 minutes to play (68-59), and despite only scoring six points in the final seven minutes of the encounter, held on for a tight win.

Adrian Uter led Rishon with 21 points, hitting 10 of 13 field goals, with Brandon Bowman adding 16 points and eight rebounds and Joe Crawford scoring 15.

LaceDarius Dunn had 25 points for Bnei Hasharon.

“I’ve got some reasons to be happy, but I mainly have reasons why we need to continue to work hard,” Birenboim said.

Rishon will next play the winner of Monday’s quarterfinal between Hapoel Gilboa/Galil and Hapoel Holon.

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