ULEB Cup: Hap J'lem handed tough tie vs. Besiktas

Turkish team won all 10 of its group games and did so by an average 11.9 points.

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January 29, 2008 03:34
1 minute read.
ULEB Cup: Hap J'lem handed tough tie vs. Besiktas

Hapoel Jerusalem 248.88. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger [file])

Hapoel Jerusalem was given a tough tie in the ULEB Cup on Monday when the team from the capital was drawn to face the undefeated Besiktas JK in the last 32 of the ULEB Cup. The Israeli State Cup holder, which only sneaked into the last 32 as one of the best fourth-place finishers in the group stage, will have its work cut out if it's to get the better of the strong Turkish side. Besiktas, which will come to the Malha Arena for the first leg on February 19 and host Hapoel a week later, won all 10 of its group games and did so by an average 11.9 points. Preston Shumpert (17.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg) leads the Turks' deep and balanced roster. Kaya Peker (16.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Sandro Nicevic (12.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg) form a frightening big-man duo, with former Hapoel Galil Elyon guard Christian Dalmau (12 ppg, 5 apg) guiding the team from the backcourt. "All the teams which finished the group stage in first place are strong sides so I can't say this is a comfortable draw," Jerusalem coach Dan Shamir said on Monday. "Besiktas ended the first stage with a perfect record and it's not going to be easy. Nevertheless, we believe in ourselves and are hoping to advance to the last 16." Besiktas became the first club to ever finish the ULEB Cup regular season undefeated. The side is coached by veteran Engin Ataman. "I think that all our potential opponents were more or less at the same level, so the ULEB Cup Draw was OK for us," Ataman told the ULEB Cup Web site. "We are stronger than in the beginning of the season and we've done a good job so far. "We set a new ULEB Cup regular season record by winning all our games. Now, of course, we hope to survive the elimination rounds, make it to the Final Eight and hopefully lift the trophy."


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