Hapoel Holon advanced to the Champions League Round of 16 Group Stage on Wednesday night by downing Besiktas 74-68 in a do-or-die rubber match to break a 1-1 series tie.
The Purples’ new head coach, Guy Goodes, went three-for-three in knockout games over the past week since joining the club and ended it in style by punching the club’s ticket to the next stage of the continental competition for the second straight season.
The Turkish squad came out strong and took a first-quarter lead thanks to Josh Reaves and Trevon Bluiett, but Chris Johnson, Adam Smith and Steve Zack led Goodes’s team back with a 14-0 run in the second quarter to head into halftime holding a 39-30 lead.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Kenan Sipahi helped Ahmet Kandemir’s crew cut the Israeli side’s lead to just 58-52 after 30 minutes. As Besiktas kept getting closer to Holon, Smith took the bull by the horns and, along with key baskets by Rafi Menco and Michale Kyser, the hosts were able to hang on and notch the six-point victory.
Smith led the way with 20 points, Johnson added 12 points and Zack chipped in with 10 points in the win. Hollis-Jefferson led Besiktas with 15 points, Dedric Lawson checked in with 13 points and Trevon Bluiett added 11 points in the defeat.
“We came in sharp and we hit our goals as to what we discussed,” Goodes said following the game. “We started well and there were ups and downs. Besiktas played a different lineup, a big lineup, which created some issues for us on the inside but we found solutions including our speed to defend that. The guys did a hell of a job this week with three knockout games and I’m really happy that we went three for three. Now we have to take it a step forward.”