Jerusalem Advance to the Semis
Safsal ,01/13/2007
Hapoel Jerusalem ran 23-9 in the second quarter, exploiting Coach Berkovic's ejection, to take control of their cup quarterfinals second leg against Givat Shmuel and completed a double-win, 96-83. Tomorrow (Sunday), 3 more tickets to the semifinals will be handed out: Nahariya - Maccabi (+14), Ramat Gan - Yoqne'am/Megido (+4), Gilboa/Afula - Bnei Hasharon (+25).

After their 4-game winning streak came to an end in Belgium, Hapoel Jerusalem really wanted to avoided another loss. With a 106-95 advantage from the previous game, the reds completed the task with a 96-83 en route to the state cup's semifinals.

Deon Thomas, in his debut for Givat Shmuel, led his team to a good start, but Timmy Bowers led Jerusalem to a 8-1 run which closed the first quarter, 27-26. Dror Hajaj's back-to-back three's maintained the momentum, and after Coach Ofer Berkovic was ejected with two technical fouls, it was a done deal, 50-36 at the half.

Straight tried to get his team a little closer in the beginning of the third quarter, but the margin stayed double-digit and the final period was pure garbage time, 96-83 in the end, and even that was after 10 late unanswerred points by the visitors.

Hajaj scored 20 for Jerusalem, Pniny added 18, Bowers 15, Morris 14 and Austin 10. Jay Straight scored a game-high 24 in a losing cause, Wallace added 20, Cohen 15 and Thomas 8.

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