Jerusalem sent packing despite victory

Hapoel Jerusalem crashes out of the Eurocup regular season for a third straight year despite beating CEZ Nymburk 82-74.

Sharon Drucker 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Sharon Drucker 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Jerusalem crashed out of the Eurocup regular season for a third straight year on Wednesday night despite beating CEZ Nymburk 82-74 in the Czech Republic.
With Budivelnik Kiev beating BC Prienai 84-73 in Group A’s other game, Hapoel needed to defeat Nymburk by 17 points in order to claim the tiebreaker over the Czechs and progress to the Last 16 after losing 86- 69 at Malha Arena earlier this season.
Jerusalem didn’t give up without a fight, leading by as many as 13 points (73-60) with 6:26 remaining following a Raviv Limonad three-pointer.
But Hapoel would come no closer to the desired margin and once more ended a continental campaign far earlier than expected.
Limonad had 20 points for Jerusalem, with Josh Duncan adding 17 points for the Reds, who couldn’t overcome an 0-2 start to the campaign despite winning three of their final four games.
Miljan Pavkovic scored 19 points for Nymburk, which is guided by Israeli coach Ronen Ginzburg.
Following Jerusalem’s exit from the Eurocup, the only remaining Israeli team in continental competition other than Maccabi Tel Aviv is Hapoel Holon.
Holon advanced to the EuroChallenge Last 16 on Tuesday, being thrashed 93-74 by the Antwerp Giants in a game it could afford to lose by 25 points.
Holon will face Paris Levallois, Hungary’s Szolnoki Olaj and BCM Gravelines Dunkerque of France in Last 16 Group J, which will kick off on January 15 and run through February 26.
Also Wednesday, Maccabi Ashdod won its first BSL game in over a month, defeating the floundering Maccabi Rishon Lezion 84-75 on the road in a contest postponed from last month due to Operation Pillar of Defense.
Ashdod, which improved to 2-7, had lost three straight games after Americans Kenny Gabriel and Chris Allen left Israel last month due to the security situation.
Ofer Berkowitz’s team brought in Mardy Collins and Mike Hall as replacements and claimed a confidence- boosting victory on Wednesday behind 19 points and 13 rebounds from Diamon Simpson, 19 points from Dror Hagag and 14 points from Collins and Jamie Skinn.
Julian Wright had 27 points and 15 rebounds for Rishon (4-5), which lost for the fifth time in six games since handing Maccabi Tel Aviv its only defeat of the BSL season so far.