European Hoops: Hap Jerusalem ready to open Eurocup campaign in France

European Hoops Hap Jeru

Hapoel Jerusalem visits Roanne of France in the first leg of the Eurocup's qualifying round on Tuesday, aiming to record a favorable result ahead of next Wednesday's decisive return leg at the Malha Arena. The winner over the two legs will advance to the regular season of European basketball's second most important competition, with the loser dropping to the EuroChallenge. "We are not flying to France for a holiday, we want to win this game," Hapoel coach Guy Goodes said. "It will be very difficult, but even if we don't win we want to achieve a good result and clinch the encounter at Malha." Jerusalem impressed in the preseason, claiming the Winner Cup with an exciting victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv. Hapoel only begins its BSL campaign on Saturday, but Roanne has already played three games in its local league, losing twice, including last Saturday's 73-70 defeat to Le Havre. "We will have to be very focused and each player will need to know exactly what he has to do," Goodes said. "We must control the pace of the game. Roanne has a very athletic and diverse team. It has 10 top players and can pressure us for the full 40 minutes. "However, we believe in ourselves and are convinced we can leave with the victory, or at least a good result."