European Hoops: Still winless in Eurocup, Bnei Hasharon falls in Greece

Ariel Beit-Halachmi's team defeated 84-71 by Aris Thessaloniki.

Tapiro 224.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Tapiro 224.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Bnei Hasharon is still searching for its first win in European play after losing to Aris Thessaloniki in Greece 84-71 on Tuesday in the Eurocup. Ariel Beit-Halachmi's team, which was thrashed at home by Telecom Ankara last week, falls to 0-2 and already faces an uphill battle to finish among the top two in Group D and advance to the next round. Both Thessaloniki and Ankara, which defeated Panellinios BC 70-64 on Tuesday, have won their first two games of the campaign and are comfortably leading the standings. Ugonna Onyekwe scored 15 points for Bnei Hasharon on Tuesday, with Cookie Belcher and Shawn James adding 13 and 10 points, respectively. Keydren Clark led the winners, scoring 15 points, with Spencer Nelson and Blagota Sekulic contributing 14 points each. Bnei Hasharon began the game relatively well, with an Onyekwe basket after four minutes tying the score at 8-8. However, a 10-2 Aris run, capped by Clark's two points, gave the visitors their first comfortable lead of the night, and Thessaloniki had a 23-16 gap after 10 minutes. Nelson's basket in the second quarter opened a double-digit advantage (36-25) for the first time, but Bnei Hasharon answered back with a 12-2 run, closing to within a single point (38-37). That was to be as close as the visitors would come, however, with Anton Gavel's three-pointer to end the half extending the Greek's lead to 41-37 at the break. Aris moved further ahead as the second half progressed, and was back in front by double-digits (58-48) after Dimitrios Tsaldaris's triple. The hosts took a 64-53 gap into the final 10 minutes of the encounter, and Bnei Hasharon was all but running out of ideas. The visitors failed to make any serious inroads into the deficit in the fourth quarter and the team now needs a victory in its next Eurocup game at Panellinios when it returns to Greece next week. On Wednesday, Hapoel Jerusalem visits Olympia Larissa of Greece in its second EuroChallenge group game. Hapoel will be looking to rebound from last week's shock home loss to Arik Shiback's MyGuide Amsterdam.