Hapoel Jerusalem Intend To Turn The Tide

15.12.2008

By Yarone Arbel

Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem are experiencing a peculiar season so far in the EuroChallenge.

The Israeli team finished the first leg with two surprising home losses against one impressive road win.

Before the trip to Amsterdam, where they'll try to avenge their 83-81 home defeat three weeks ago to EclipseJet MyGuide, Hapoel received some good news.

American sharpshooter Adam Haluska made it through his first full practice since suffering a leg injury in a pre-season game.

Haluska didn't travel with the team to Amsterdam but should be part of the team after the break.

Guy Goodes, Hapoel's coach, expects a hard game in Holland.

"It won't be an easy game," he warned.

"We'll play against a very good team who will play even better in front of their fans.

"There's a big desire in the club to make it to the next round of the EuroChallenge.

"We're a good team and deserve to be in the next round, but for that we'll have to win in Holland. We need to give one big push and use the break to rest before the two concluding games."

Hapoel is the sole leader of the Israeli league after eight games with an impressive 7-1 record.

Point guard Moran Rot has averaged 7.6 points 3.2 assists per game so far in the EuroChallenge, but in the last two games has stepped up and scored in double-digits.

He hopes to build on the momentum in the upcoming game.

"In the EuroChallenge we meet players that we don't see in the domestic competition," he said, "American guards who can do a lot of things and play very athletic basketball, and the inside players are bigger than what we're used to."

Rest assured, Rot and Hapoel are going to fight until the end.

"We are starting to make the adjustments and figuring out the weaknesses of our opponents," he said.

"I hope we'll start taking advantage of that on Tuesday night to keep our chances alive in the EuroChallenge."

For Hapoel's coach Goodes, it will be an interesting encounter as the bench boss of Amsterdam is the veteran Israeli coach Arik Shivek.

Goodes is aware of the big challenge ahead of him and his team.

"They are a very athletic team," he said. "We'll need to stop their running game and play inside, where we have some advantages.

"In order to win we'll have to stay focused for 40 minutes and enjoy a good shooting day."

 


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