Hapoel Jerusalem bows out of Eurocup with a whimper

Jerusalem had already lost all hope of advancing to the Last 32.

December 18, 2014 06:54
1 minute read.
Hapoel Jerusalem coach Danny Franco

Hapoel Jerusalem coach Danny Franco. (photo credit: ODED KARNI/BSL)


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Hapoel Jerusalem’s dejecting Eurocup campaign ended in an appropriate manner on Wednesday night.

Jerusalem had already lost all hope of advancing to the Last 32 last week and it ended regular season Group E in last place with a 2-8 record on Wednesday after falling to a 98-88 defeat at Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in Lithuania.

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Jerusalem dropped to its fourth consecutive loss over all competitions and will now look to end its crisis when it hosts Maccabi Haifa in BSL action on Monday. Hapoel then faces Ramat Hasharon of the National League in the last 16 of the State Cup three days later.

Bracey Wright led Jerusalem with 30 points in Lithuania, with Lior Eliyahu adding 21 points. Martynas Gecevicius and Antanas Kavaliauskas paced six Vilnius players in double figures with 17 points each.

Rytas led from start to finish on Wednesday, although Jerusalem remained within striking distance for most of the night. Hapoel closed to within just three points (82-79) midway through the fourth quarter, but Vilnius replied with a 12-2 run to clinch the win.

Earlier Wednesday, Maccabi Haifa signed swingman Will Graves through the 2015/16 season. Graves, 26, most recently played in Iceland’s top division for Keflavik, appearing in 10 games and averaging 22.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

“Will Graves is a physically gifted athlete, who we believe makes us a stronger team and will help our ball club win games,” said Haifa owner Jeff Rosen.

“Will is a dynamic, physical and versatile player. We are looking forward to his arrival and a fast integration with the team,” said Haifa head coach Rami Hadar.

Graves comes in as a replacement for Americans Demontez Stitt and Jeff Allen after they were cut from the team last week following their arrest for being in possession of marijuana.

Graves was dismissed from University of North Carolina’s basketball team in 2010 for facing misdemeanor drug charges after police found marijuana and drug paraphernalia at his residence.

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