Hapoel Jerusalem vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Jerusalem’s hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Eurocup were dealt a
significant blow on Tuesday night after it was beaten 91-75 by an impressive BCM
Gravelines team at Malha Arena.
Jerusalem trailed throughout the game but
managed to close within two points early in the fourth period, only to get
trampled over by the athletic Frenchmen in the final minutes.
dropped to 1-2 in Group A with the defeat, and with a visit to Gravelines to
come next week, the Reds will likely see their regular season fate decided in
the home game against Donetsk, which beat Jerusalem by nine two weeks
“We didn’t begin the game well enough and they are a very dangerous
team,” Hapoel coach Oded Katash said of Gravelines, which leads the French
league and has won its first three games in the Eurocup by an average 23.7
points. “We paid a price for battling our way back into the game and we couldn’t
hold on in the end.
“This game was important for us, but they were the
better team and deserved to win. We have plenty to learn from this
D.J. Strawberry had 20 points for Jerusalem, with Brian Randle
adding 15 and Jarvis Varnado contributing 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Jomby had 19 points for Gravelines, which converted on 14 of 28 three-point
The Frenchmen were on fire from the start, with Cyril
Akpomedah’s triple opening an early 11-2 gap.
However, Jerusalem was
desperate to build on the momentum of recent weeks and fought its way back into
the game, with Luke Jackson’s three tying the score at 17-17 with two minutes
remaining in the period.
Gravelines scored the next five points to take a
small cushion into the second quarter, and Yannick Bokolo’s steal and layup
opened a double-digit margin (31-21).
Andrew Albicy’s unbelievable basket
from beyond halfcourt as the first half buzzer sounded ensured the visitors
still had a double-figure gap (53-41) going into the second half. However,
Hapoel ate away at the lead in the third quarter and must have liked its chances
after Yuval Naimi brought it within two points (71-69) a minute into the fourth
But Gravelines would score 20 of the next 24 points to clinch the
win and leave Jerusalem with plenty to do to reach the next stage.