DONTA SMITH 370.
(photo credit: Oded Karni/BSL)
Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Haifa capped a hectic run of games with two more
dramatic wins on Wednesday night, with both Israeli clubs improving to 3-1 in
their respective Eurocup groups to edge closer to a place in the
Playing in its fifth game in 10 days, Jerusalem beat CSU
Ploiesti of Romania 82-80 at Malha Arena for its fourth win since last
“This is a very special win for us,” said Jerusalem coach Brad
Greenberg. “We have competitive guys and they have the right stuff
Donta Smith carried Maccabi Haifa to a 72-69 victory over Banvit
Bandirma of Turkey at Romema Arena, scoring his team’s final 10 points in the
closing 3:16 minutes of the game to clinch a sixth straight win in all
“There were moments in which we lost our concentration and
Banvit is a top team which makes you pay for that,” said Haifa coach Danny
“We have still got a long way to go before we qualify, but we are
doing some nice things. We are progressing with every game and that is the most
important thing at this stage of the season.”
At Malha, a Zack Rosen
basket opened an early eight-point margin (13-5), but Hapoel was unable to
sustain the momentum and led by just three points (17-14) after 10 minutes.
Ploiesti completed the comeback in the second quarter and was ahead by two
points (39-37) at the interval.
Jerusalem fought back to lead by as many
as seven points (55-48) in the third quarter, but yet again it failed to kill
off Ploeisti’s challenge and found itself down by two points (64-62) with seven
There was little to separate the teams for the
remainder until a clutch Yotam Halperin three-pointer opened a 77-73 lead with
1:27 to go before Ronald Dupree’s free throws with 4.4 seconds left secured the
Josh Duncan had 19 points for Jerusalem, with Dupree and
Halperin scoring 17 points each.
Filip Adamovic led Ploiesti (2-2) with
Earlier Wednesday, Banvit got off to the better start in
Romema, but it was Haifa which opened a seven-point margin (31-24) midway
through the second period thanks to Ike Ofoegbu’s basket.
would score just four points in the final 3:30 minutes of the first half and the
hosts held just a twopoint edge (37-35) at the break.
A 16-3 Bandirma run
gave the Turks a seven-point advantage (58-51) and the visitors were exactly
where they hoped to be with 10 minutes to play (58-53).
But the Greens
always remained within striking distance and Ben Rice’s three-pointer tied the
score at 62-62 with 5:30 to play before Smith took over the game.
consecutive steals and baskets by Smith gave Haifa the lead and his 10thstraight
point opened a six-point gap from which Banvit could not return.
ended the night with 20 points, with Brian Randle adding 18 points and seven
rebounds. Earl Rowland had 16 points to lead Banvit (2-2).