Tough road ahead for Hapoel Jerusalem in Eurocup

After beating CEZ Nymburk 94-84 in the first round of the qualifiers in Ostend, Belgium, Jerusalem dropped to an 82-71 loss to Kazan despite controlling the first half.

September 30, 2014 06:20
1 minute read.
Hapoel Jerusalem

Hapoel Jerusalem’s Bar Timor. (photo credit: ODED KARNI/BSL)


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Hapoel Jerusalem’s qualification for the Last 32 of the Eurocup is far from a given after it was handed a tricky regular season draw in Barcelona on Monday. Jerusalem will play in the Eurocup for the 11th time in 12 seasons after its Euroleague dream was dashed by Russian powerhouse Unics Kazan in the second round of the qualifiers last week.

After beating CEZ Nymburk 94-84 in the first round of the qualifiers in Ostend, Belgium, Jerusalem dropped to an 82-71 loss to Kazan despite controlling the first half.

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Hapoel received a Eurocup regular season berth as a consolation prize and was drawn into Group E on Monday together with Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius of Lithuania, Banvit Bandirma of Turkey, Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd of Russia, Partizan Belgrade of Serbia and CSU Ploiesti of Romania.

“There is no such thing as an easy draw or a tough draw,” insisted Jerusalem coach Danny Franco. “We will fight for a win in every game. Games are won by teamwork and battling, not by talking.”

Jerusalem advanced to the quarterfinals of the Eurocup for the first time since 2010 last season, eventually losing to Nizhny Novgorod of Russia.

Hapoel needs to finish among the top four to qualify for the Last 32 and is expected to face some difficult encounters in the regular season.

Vilnius and Partizan played in the Euroleague last season, while Banvit and Ploiesti both showed real quality when they met Jerusalem in the Eurocup last term.

The 2014/15 Eurocup will have one major change compared to the previous season, with the number of teams participating reduced to 36.

The regular season starts on October 14, and ends 10 weeks later, on December 17.

For the draw, teams were grouped geographically into two regional conferences, this time into six groups of six teams each.

The top four teams in each group proceed to the Last 32 phase, beginning January 6, when they will be joined by the eight teams that do not progress to the Euroleague Top 16.

The Last 32 will consist of eight groups of four teams, half of which will advance to the Eurocup Eighthfinals, which begin March 3.

From that point, the teams will play two-game, single elimination series until the title is decided in the Eurocup Finals on April 24 and April 29.

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