Hapoel Jerusalem center Alen Omic (left) scored 14 points last night, but it wasn’t enough to beat Aleksa Ilic and Buducnost, which left the Jerusalem Arena with an 86-81 victory in Eurocup action..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
One day after the release of star guard Curtis Jerrells, Hapoel Jerusalem moved to 3-0 in the BSL on Saturday night, while Maccabi Tel Aviv also extended its perfect start after surviving a scare to beat Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 74-72.
Jerusalem announced the release of Jerrells, its top scorer from last season, on Friday after he clashed with coach Fotis Katsikaris. The American guard publicly criticized the coach last week and was frustrated by his role in Katsikaris’s system.
Jerusalem, which has lost its first two games of the Eurocup regular season, had little trouble managing without him on Saturday, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 100- 84 on the road. Jerusalem led by just six points (71-65) with 10 minutes to play and surged ahead in the final quarter.
Austin Daye led the team with 28 points, with Richard Howell returning from injury with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Jeff Allen had 20 points and 11 boards for Tel Aviv, which fell to 1-2.
Playing without Norris Cole and Jonah Bolden, who were both being rested ahead of a busy week of Euroleague action, Maccabi Tel Aviv looked sluggish at the start in Gan Ner. The yellow-and-blue still led by a single point (16-15) after 10 minutes, but Gilboa had the edge (34- 31) at the break.
The hosts extended their lead to as many as 11 points (54-43) in the third period, only for Maccabi to score the final six points of the frame to move back within striking distance with 10 minutes to play.
Maccabi guard John DiBartolomeo entered the fourth quarter without a single point to his name, but ended the night with 11, including two threes within six seconds inside the final three minutes that turned a five-point Gilboa advantage (67-62) into a Maccabi lead.
The score was still tied (70-70) entering the final minute, but two DiBartolomeo free throws followed by a defensive stop and a Pierre Jackson jumper with 11.7 seconds remaining gave the visitors a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Jackson led Maccabi with 15 points, with Zoosman and DiBartolomeo adding 11 points each. Tyler Stone had 26 points for Gilboa, which fell to 1-2.
On Sunday, Hapoel Holon continues its search for a first win this season when it visits Bnei Herzliya.
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