ULEB Cup: Hap J'lem back with a European win

The reds take on Alba Berlin in ULEB Cup game and produce an incredible second half to register 92-77 win and get its European season back on track.

hapoel jlem win 298.88 (photo credit: Hapoel Jerusalem website)
hapoel jlem win 298.88
(photo credit: Hapoel Jerusalem website)
Hapoel Jerusalem has officially broken out of its month-long slump. The reds took on Alba Berlin in a tough ULEB Cup game and produced an incredible second half to register a 92-77 win and get its European season back on track. Israel's other representatives in the Eurocup competition also enjoyed positive results in their respective games. Maccabi Rishon Lezion wasted no time in humbling BCM Gravelines 90-62, while Ironi Nahariya beat JDA Dijon Basket 91-80. "We were with our backs against the wall," Jerusalem swingman Timmy Bowers said after the impressive win. "We came out with a lot of energy and played great basketball tonight. The key was moving the ball and playing unselfish basketball". "We have to look ahead. We have lost many games lately, despite playing well. This win is a big confidencebooster and we must keep playing like this in order to collect more wins." In Berlin, Jerusalem coach Dan Shamir had to manage without starter Matan Naor. The team's leading scorer was injured in the loss to Bnei Hasharon on Sunday, and was later diagnosed with a bicep muscle tear that will keep him out of action for around two months. At the opening, both teams failed to score off easy lay-ups and jumpers. Jerusalem's Ed Cota scored the first basket of the contest after three scoreless minutes, making a tough running jumper in the paint. But Berlin used its trademark passing game and raced away to an 18-15 lead at the end of the first quarter. The visitors were turnover-prone despite enjoying an efficient game from Mario Austin, whose 12 first-half points led to a surprising 36-34 lead. Jerusalem turned up the pace in the third quarter, when a series of quick baskets were finished with two consecutive three-pointers by Cota that helped the visitors to open up a 58-49 lead. Sharrod Ford tried to bring Berlin back into the game, but failed to turn the tide. The visitors maintained the tempo in the final period, with a barrage of three-pointers from numerous players. The reds hit a total of 13 threepointers in the game, with Berlin retaliating with seven of their own. Berlin fell behind 65-81 in the final minutes of the game and heroic moves by Julius Jenkins, who finished with 13 points, were not enough to break Jerusalem's rhythm. Bowers capped the 92-77 Jerusalem win with a long range three-pointer. Austin powered Jerusalem with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Bowers led the scoring department with 23 points, while Cota added 17 points and 3 assists. Dror Hagag provided the much-needed spark from the bench in the second half and finished with 11 points. Nahariya and Rishon shine in Eurocup Ironi Nahariya proved that its form in the BSL domestic league is no fluke as it beat French side JDA Dijon Basket 91-80 at home. Raviv Limonad was virtually unstoppable on the night, finishing with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. In another Eurocup game, Maccabi Rishon Lezion wiped out a 17-point first leg lead and thrashed BCM Gravelines 90-62 at home. Rishon forward Haim Shimonovich produced a superb performance which included 14 points and 17 rebounds.