Jerusalem rallies for win in Maor's debut
Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem got back into the winning groove under new head coach Mody Maor by rallying to defeat visiting Lietkabelis Panevezys 93-81 on Wednesday. Jerusalem improved to 2-4 in Group B, while Lietkabelis dropped to 3-3, but was able to retain its head-to-head advantage in a potential tie-break after having won its home game between the two by 14 points. Jerusalem trailed 50-60 after 26 minutes, but followed veteran Yotam Halperin and newcomer Kalin Lucas to outscore the visitors 43-21 the rest of the way. Richard Howell had 19 points for the winners and Jerome Dyson 18. Lucas had 13 of his 16 during the comeback while Stratos Perperoglou added 14 and Alen Omic had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Gary Talton and Simas Jasaitis both scored 14 for Lietkabelis, while Zanis Peiners had 13 and Adas Juskevicius 11.
The visitors followed their hero from a week ago, Juskevicius, who hit his first 2 three-pointers on the way to a 7-14 lead. Austin Daye had 2 triples among a quick 8 points already for Jerusalem. Soon, Yogev Ohayon joined him from the arc and Dyson hit free throws to take the lead, 16-15. Dyson would lengthen the lead with a jumper and a triple in transition to 25-18. He then gave Jerusalem its biggest lead, 28-20, with another shot from the arc to beat the first-quarter buzzer. Donatas Tarolis, Jasaitis and Talton dialled up a three-pointer each as Lietkabelis drew within 38-32 in the second quarter. After a series of free throws for the guests, Talton was back with a jumper at 40-37. After Jerusalem lengthened the lead, Talton would finish the half with a buzzer-beating triple to make it 42-44.
Lietkabelis took the lead back with baskets by Peiners and Tarolis to open the second half and made it 46-51 on 5 points in a row by Ksistof Lavrinovic. The battle was truly joined now. After Jasaitis added 8 points for the biggest Lietkabelis lead, 52-63, Dyson and Stratos Perperoglou sparked an 11-2 closing run to end the third quarter 63-65. Perperoglou did the honors of tying it up on the first basket of the fourth quarter, but Jasaitis took it back. Halperin's big triple sparked an 11-0 run that Lucas finished with a jumper at 76-67. Omic joined the fun with 6 points of his own as the hosts had the momentum and the fans with them now. Peperoglou tried to shoot Jerusalem into the tie-breaker territory, but a missed three at the end by Dyson meant that wouldn't happen, although a win to start a new era under Mody Maor was plenty for the home fans.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017