By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Despite mishandling a double-digit advantage in the third quarter, Hapoel Vegan Friendly Tel Aviv restored the lead and beat Hapoel Jerusalem, 77-68, in Shlomo Group Arena Saturday.
Experienced combo guard J’Covan Brown suffered a knee injury early in Game 2 of the best-of-three series. After a quick visit to the locker room, he returned and was the key player in completing the two-game sweep in the Semifinals stage of Israel’s Winner League Playoffs. Making 9/14 from the field produced a game-high 29 points.
Coming off the win in Pais Arena, Game 2’s hosts and five-time Israel champions did not trail after the first quarter. However, a ten-point cushion turned into a brief tie in the third period. Dominating the last ten minutes, especially down the stretch, completed the best-of-three championship series following top-seeded Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv going through yesterday, Friday.
Former Louisville standout and veteran of six NBA games as a member of the Houston Rockets, Chinanu Onuaku contributed six points, 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block. French forward Jaylen Hoard tallied 13 points with 4/7 two-pointers and Georgia native Jordan McRae added 12 points.
For the runner-ups of the 2022-23 Basketball Champions League season, Israeli forward Oz Blayzer stood out with a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double in the season-ending defeat. Winner League Regular Season MVP Zach Hankins and Louisiana Tech product Speedy Smith followed with 12 points apiece for the team coached by Aleksandar Dzikic.
Tel Aviv derby in the Finals
Game 1 of the championship series is scheduled to take place at Menora Mivtachim Arena Thursday. The Tel Aviv rivals switching to Shlomo Group Arena will play Game 2 Sunday. Game 3, if necessary, would return the series to Maccabi‘s home for the decider.
Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net