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Perkovic Leads EWE Baskets Into Top 16

13 January 2009

EWE Baskets Oldenburg made sure their debut adventure in Europe will continue by beating Hapoel Jerusalem 79-70 on Tuesday in Germany.

Predrag Krunic's team improved to 4-2, good enough for first place in Group E of the EuroChallenge and a spot in the Top 16, while the Israeli outfit was relegated to third and was knocked out of the competition.

Had Olympia managed to claim a road win at EclipseJet MyGuide Amsterdam, Hapoel would have finished in second and advanced but the Greek team lost 68-64 to leave the Dutch outfit in second place and the Greeks third.

Croatian center Jasmin Perkovic had a season-high 21 points for the winners.

In a contest that was close from the start until late in the fourth quarter, EWE Baskets took the lead for good with 1:25 to go in the third on Jason Gardener's three-pointer which made it 51-48.

An important sequence came in the fourth period after Roger Powell's two free throws had pulled Hapoel to within 56-54 with 8:11 to go in the game.

Perkovic replied with shot from the arc to open up a lead of five.

Travis Watson answered for Hapoel to make it 59-56 in favour of the home side, but Perkovic went to the other end and hit a jump shot to restore the five-point advantage with 6:28 to go.

The basket started a 10-0 run that put the home side in front for good.

Watson had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the standout performance for Hapoel.

He was one of four players for the visiting team to reach double figures in scoring.

EWE Baskets won the game, despite being out-rebounded 37-24.

Hapoel finished with 21 turnovers to 15 for the German team.

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