ULEB Cup: Hap J'lem loses on the road again

The Israeli cup holder loses 81-72 to Strasbourg, its fifth defeat in five road games in all competitions.

sasson 224 88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger )
sasson 224 88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger )
Hapoel Jerusalem's ULEB Cup aspirations suffered a heavy blow on Tuesday night in France. The Israeli cup holder lost 81-72 to Strasbourg, its fifth defeat in five road games in all competitions. The Frenchmen never managed to open a substantial lead over Jerusalem (3-3), but held a slender advantage during most of Tuesday's encounter and ended up cruising to the important win. Aaron Pettway scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Strasbourg (3-3), with Sanya Giffa adding 16 points. Timmy Bowers led Hapoel with 23 points and Sharon Sasson and Ramel Curry added 15 and 11 points respectively. Also Tuesday, Hapoel Galil Elyon (1-5) lost almost all hope of advancing to the knockout stages of the competition, losing 90-83 to Swans Gmunden (3-3) in Austria, despite Doron Sheffer's 28 points. In France, an Afik Nissim three-pointer capped a 10-1 Strasbourg run in the first period to give the hosts a 19-10 lead. Curry's buzzer-beating basket at the end of the quarter cut Hapoel's deficit to two points (23-21) and three more points by the American gave Jerusalem its first lead since the first minute of the encounter (34-33). The hosts, however, would take a 37-34 lead into the break thanks to Pettway's basket from an offensive rebound. Dror Hajaj's triple three minutes into the period gave the visitors their only lead of the quarter (43-41), as Strasbourg quickly regained the advantage and entered the final 10 minutes of the game with a two-point margin (55-53). The small gap, however, would be enough for Strasbourg, which maintained its lead throughout the fourth quarter and clinched the win after Giffa and Eddie Shannon scored two straight threes (75-66). In Austria, a late Galil run in the first period made sure the team was ahead after 10 minutes (28-22). The visitors extended the margin to 12 points in the second quarter (47-35), but Gmunden ended the half with a 7-0 run, which brought the team within three points at the interval (49-46). The Austrians completed their comeback in the third period and led 72-68 with one quarter to play. Sheffer's fifth three-pointer of the game gave Hapoel the lead once again (80-78), but Gmunden would score 12 of the final 15 points of the night to dash Galil's ULEB Cup hopes. Deteri Mayes led the winners scoring 29 points, with Peter Hutter adding 25 points.