Eurocup Basketball: Goodes expects difficult task against th

Hapoel Jerusalem needs first and foremost to find a way to break down Valencia's defense

By
January 26, 2010 04:44
1 minute read.
Eurocup Basketball: Goodes expects difficult task against th

goodes brightened 298.88. (photo credit: Blake-Ezra Cole)



Hapoel Jerusalem faces an uphill battle in its Eurocup Last 16 group opener at Valencia in Spain on Tuesday.



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Jerusalem claimed a confidence-boosting victory over Maccabi Haifa in the BSL on Saturday, but coach Guy Goodes knows his team will have to play much better if it's to triumph on Tuesday as well.



"The game against Valencia will be completely different to the one against Haifa," Goodes said.



"Valencia's roster is taller and stronger than ours so this will be a tough challenge for us. However, the pressure will be on them and we will try to spring a surprise."



While Jerusalem only scraped into the Last 16, Valencia, guided by former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Neven Spahija, cruised in the first group stage, winning its first five matches before losing a meaningless encounter at Le Mans.



Valencia has also played well in the Spanish league, winning 13 of 19 games, including an impressive 60-59 victory over Barcelona on Saturday, handing the Catalans just their second loss in all competitions this season.



Spahija has assembled a balanced and deep roster in Valencia. Eight players average between 20 and 28 minutes on court, with Nando De Colo leading the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and Victor Claver the side's only player to start in all six Eurocup games so far, averaging 11.5 points and leading Valencia in rebounding (5.7 rpg).



However, Jerusalem needs first and foremost to find a way to break down Valencia's defense, with the Spaniards holding their opponents to just 66.2 points in their five victories in the Eurocup to date.



"We don't know much about Valencia, but I think this is a good chance to steal a road win," Hapoel's Dijon Thompson said. "An away win will put is in an excellent situation ahead of the rest of our group games."


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