Hapoel Jerusalem guard Curtis Jerrells.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Jerusalem aims to keep alive its hopes of winning Eurocup Group D when it visits Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Russia on Wednesday night.
Jerusalem secured its qualification for the Top 16 with an 81-69 victory over Olimpija Ljubljana last week, improving to a 4-2 record.
Hapoel trails group leader Valencia by a single game with two games to play, but holds the tiebreaker over the Spaniards so only needs to finish with the same record to claim first place.
While first place is out of its hands, Jerusalem does control its fate regarding second position. That will only be decided next Wednesday though, when it hosts Ulm at the Jerusalem Arena in its final regular season game, with a win to secure second place regardless of Hapoel’s result against Kuban.
Nevertheless, Jerusalem will be desperate to triumph in Russia, aiming to register its fourth straight win over all competitions after previously going almost a month without a victory, losing five consecutive games.
“We are going up against a team that is in its best form so far this season and their VTB League win over CSKA Moscow is proof of this,” said Jerusalem coach Simone Pianigiani.
“Our team needs to continue building momentum. We went through a rough patch until last week but now we have a three-game winning streak that we will try to keep alive in a very tough gym against a very good team.”On TV: Eurocup basketball: Lokomotiv Kuban vs Hapoel Jerusalem (live on Channel 20 at 7 p.m.)