Hapoel J’lem’s chances bleak after loss to Nymburk

Hapoel gets its campaign off to the worse possible start, losing 85-72 at BC Prienai of Lithuania, second-best to Nymburk.

Sharon Drucker 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Sharon Drucker 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Jerusalem’s hopes of advancing to the Eurocup Last 16 suffered a shattering blow at Malha Arena on Wednesday night with a humbling 86-69 defeat to CEZ Nymburk of the Czech Republic.
Hapoel got its campaign off to the worse possible start last week, losing 85-72 at BC Prienai of Lithuania and was second best throughout Wednesday’s game against Nymburk.
The hosts got off to an ideal start, with a Raviv Limonad basket opening a 9-2 lead. However, Nymburk, coached by Israeli Neno Ginzburg, replied with an 11-0 run and remained in the lead until the final buzzer.
Jerusalem trailed by just two points (37-35) at the half, but the Czechs began the third quarter with a 7-0 run and the Reds required a three-point play by Craig Smith to remain within striking distance (62-55) with 10 minutes remaining.
However, Nymburk would put the game to bed by outscoring Jerusalem 24-14 in the final frame and improved to 2-0 in Group A.
Smith had 23 points and eight rebounds for Hapoel, with Jacob Pullen adding 14 points for Sharon Drucker’s men, which committed 19 turnovers.
“Clearly, we now find ourselves in a far from ideal situation, but it isn’t over yet,” said forward Uri Kukia.
“We will have to win in places we didn’t expect to win at.
“Nymburk is a very good team and they proved it tonight.”
Vojtech Hruban led five Nymburk players in double- figures with 19 points.
“We made the right defensive adjustments in the second half and slowed down Smith,” Ginzburg said.
“We have a new team so it is tough to tell at the moment how far we can go.”