| Hapoel Jerusalem took the big showdown between former competition champions in Group J by edging Power Electronics 75-79 in Valencia, Spain on Tuesday. Hapoel handed Power VLC its first-ever Eurocup home loss since the competition started in 2003. Before this game, Power VLC had won 33 of its 34 Eurocup home games in Valencia, registering a 85-85 tie against DKV Joventut in the second leg of the 2005 ULEB Cup eighthfinals. Power VLC had unbeaten in 27 consecutive games in European club competition, as its previous loss had been in a Euroleague showdown against Maccabi on March 4, 2004. Tre Simmons paced the winners with 17 points. Pooh Jeter added 15 while Sharon Shason had 13 for Hapoel. Nando De Colo led Power VLC with 23 points. Rafa Martinez added 15 while Kosta Perovic had 12 for the hosts. De Colo allowed Power VLC to get a 63-50 margin late in the third quarter. Jeter, Shason and Simmons fueled a 0-16 run that put Hapoel back ahead, 63-66. Three-pointers by Shason and Simmons boosted the guests' lead to 65-74. The hosts managed to get within 75-77 but Yuval Naimy and Jeter sealed the outcome from the foul line.
Kosta Perovic got Power VLC going with free throws and Martinez scored in transition for a 4-2 lead. Hapoel struggled to score early while free throws by De Colo and a hook shot by Perovic made it a six-point game, 8-2. Simmons sank a close jumper and Kevinn Pinkney followed foul shots with a fast break dunk to tie it at 8-8. Leo Lyons capped an 0-8 Hapoel run with an uncontested layup but De Colo sank a triple and added a close basket for a 13-10 Power VLC edge. Martinez shined with a driving layup and Perovic dunked it to make Hapoel call timeout at 17-10. Martinez capped a 12-0 Power VLC run with a three-pointer and Thomas Kelati also struck from downtown for a 23-12 lead. Free throws by Marko Marinovic and Jeter fixed the score at 25-14 after 10 minutes. Yogev Ohayon sank free throws early in the second quarter but Marinovic bettered that with a triple. Jose Simeon and Dijon Thompson traded baskets but Kelati kept Power VLC out of trouble at 33-20. Hapoel started to find open shots and three-pointers by Jeter, Simmons and Shason brought the guests back to life, 36-29. Nielsen sank a jumper that Brandon Hunter matched with a dunk. A layup by Shason and a jumper by Naimy got Hapoel even closer, 38-35, at halftime.
Perovic dunked it immediately after the break but Thompson matched it with a layup. De Colo sank a three-pointer and soon added a layup to keep Power VLC way ahead, 47-40. Hunter sank a jumper that a red hot De Colo bettered with a bomb from downtown, good for a 50-42 Power VLC lead. Shason hit a mid-range shot and Simmons scored in transition to bring Hapoel within 50-46. Perovic scored in the paint and De Colo added free throws to give the hosts some fresh air at 54-46. Hunter and Perovic traded layups and a three-pointer by Martinez made Hapoel call timeout at 59-48. Jeter sank free throws but De Colo allowed Power VLC to get a 63-50 lead. Simmons and Uri Kokia got Hapoel within 63-54 after 30 minutes. Jeter beat the shot clock buzzer with a triple and soon added a driving layup to bring the guests back to life, 63-59. A driving basket by Naimy, a backdoor layup by Kokia and a triple by Shason put the guests back ahead, 63-66, after a 0-16 run. Victor Claver and Simmons traded layups but Shason and Simmons struck from downtown to boost Hapoel's lead to 65-74 with under 4 minutes to go. Kelati buried a triple and Nielsen added a layup to give Power VLC some hope at 70-74. Nielsen sank 1-of-4 free throws and a foul shot by Naimy made it a four-point game, 71-75, with 32 seconds left. Martinez, Jeter and De Colo hit foul shots but Naimy split free throws for a 75-78 score. De Colo missed a driving layup and Jeter sealed his team's win from the foul line.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010