Joe Ragland’s clutch buckets advance Hapoel Holon

2022-04-12T21:47:19+00:00 2022-04-12T23:55:35+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

12/Apr/22 21:47

Five last-minute points by Joe Ragland make the difference for Hapoel U-NET Holon on the way to the Basketball Champions League Final Four

By Johnny Askounis/

It was all about determined Joe Ragland down the stretch as Hapoel U-NET Holon edged SIG Strasbourg, 81-80, and qualified for the Basketball Champions League Final Four Tuesday.

The Massachusetts-born guard shaped a two-point lead with 54 seconds remaining and followed up with the game-winning mid-range jumper with 11.5 seconds left in Game 2 of the Playoffs’ best-of-three series. Scoring 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter sent the Israeli outlet to its first Final Four following last year’s Final Eight and quarterfinal exit.

The team coached by Guy Goodes was coming off three wins across all competitions, including Game 1 and the domestic home win opposite Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv Saturday. Outrebounded 47-27 and led for only seven minutes at Rhenus Sport but the streak was extended behind Ragland’s late heroics.

Iowa State product Tyrus McGee put up a team-high 21 points but was kept quiet in the last ten minutes. Battling foul trouble, Chris Johnson chipped in 15 points. Niz Mizgav and Steve Zack were not available.

First-year pro coming out of San Diego State Matt Mitchell upped his season-best to 24 points, but his solid showing highlighted by an impressive three-point play with 30.8 seconds left was not enough to force a Game 3 and send both teams back to Holon Toto Hall next week. Both Jaromir Bohacik (ankle) and John Roberson (knee) remained sidelined.

Finnish head coach Finnish Lassi Tuovi will now focus on France’s Betclic Elite LNB Pro A aiming to improve the current 16-11 tally at the bottom end of the Regular Season. In addition, his side will take on Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez in the French Cup Final on 23 April.

Postgame press conference:

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League