Changes At Haifa; Spartak In Russian F4



Changes At Haifa

Maccabi Haifa reached the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge but didn't make it in a blaze of glory.

Needing a win on December 21 to assure themselves of a place in the next phase, Haifa were destroyed 99-62 at BK Ventspils.

Fortunately for Haifa, Deutsche Bank Skyliners did them a favor by beating Khimik to allow the Israeli team to finish second in Group B and progress.

With a 3-3 record, Haifa limped into the next round.

Coach Elad Hasin didn't manage, however, to hold onto the Haifa reins.

Deciding a change was needed with the outfit also struggling in the Israeli top flight, the club promoted assistant Ami Nawi to the role of interim coach on December 30.

Haifa said in a statement: "The club would like to thank Elad Hasin for his great contribution over the past two and a half years."

The club added Mickey Gorka to the coaching staff and perhaps more significantly have just announced the signing of point guard Jermaine Jackson.

The 34-year-old Detroit-born Jackson spent several seasons in the NBA with outfits like Detroit, Toronto, Atlanta, New York and Milwaukee.

He has European experience, too, having turned out for Snaidero Udine in Italy most recently in the 2008-09 campaign.

Jackson has also been on the books of clubs in Argentina, Ukraine, Spain, Greece and most recently, Mexico, where he played for Logos Grises.

"We're excited to have an experienced quarterback like Jermaine Jackson, who has gained experience in the NBA as well as outside the United States," Haifa owner Jeffrey Rosen said.

Nawi added: "His court vision and his leadership abilities will bring a new dimension to our group and allow us to be more consistent."

Spartak Reach Russia Cup Final Four

Spartak Saint-Petersburg sealed their progression to the Russian Cup Final Four with a 91-70 victory over Ural Great.

After winning the first leg 83-82 in Ekaterinburg, Zvi Sherf's men blew away Ural and will now face fellow EuroChallenge outfit Lokomotiv Kuban in the last four.

Petar Popovic and Nikola Dragovic each had 15 points for Spartak.

"This game was important in terms of reaching the final four of the tournament," Dragovic said.

"We have completed this task.

"We had planned from the outset to create a big lead and maintain it. We were successful with a 20-point advantage at the break."


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