Hapoel Jerusalem crashed out of the Eurocup regular season for a third straight
year on Wednesday night despite beating CEZ Nymburk 82-74 in the Czech
With Budivelnik Kiev beating BC Prienai 84-73 in Group A’s
other game, Hapoel needed to defeat Nymburk by 17 points in order to claim the
tiebreaker over the Czechs and progress to the Last 16 after losing 86- 69 at
Malha Arena earlier this season.
Jerusalem didn’t give up without a
fight, leading by as many as 13 points (73-60) with 6:26 remaining following a
Raviv Limonad three-pointer.
But Hapoel would come no closer to the
desired margin and once more ended a continental campaign far earlier than
Limonad had 20 points for Jerusalem, with Josh Duncan adding 17
points for the Reds, who couldn’t overcome an 0-2 start to the campaign despite
winning three of their final four games.
Miljan Pavkovic scored 19 points
for Nymburk, which is guided by Israeli coach Ronen Ginzburg.
Jerusalem’s exit from the Eurocup, the only remaining Israeli team in
continental competition other than Maccabi Tel Aviv is Hapoel
Holon advanced to the EuroChallenge Last 16 on Tuesday, being
thrashed 93-74 by the Antwerp Giants in a game it could afford to lose by 25
Holon will face Paris Levallois, Hungary’s Szolnoki Olaj and BCM
Gravelines Dunkerque of France in Last 16 Group J, which will kick off on
January 15 and run through February 26.
Also Wednesday, Maccabi Ashdod
won its first BSL game in over a month, defeating the floundering Maccabi Rishon
Lezion 84-75 on the road in a contest postponed from last month due to Operation
Pillar of Defense.
Ashdod, which improved to 2-7, had lost three straight
games after Americans Kenny Gabriel and Chris Allen left Israel last month due
to the security situation.
Ofer Berkowitz’s team brought in Mardy Collins
and Mike Hall as replacements and claimed a confidence- boosting victory on
Wednesday behind 19 points and 13 rebounds from Diamon Simpson, 19 points from
Dror Hagag and 14 points from Collins and Jamie Skinn.
Julian Wright had
27 points and 15 rebounds for Rishon (4-5), which lost for the fifth time in six
games since handing Maccabi Tel Aviv its only defeat of the BSL season so far.