26 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
FIBA Europe Cup domestic round-up: Adrien saves the day for Bnei Herzliya
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FIBA Europe Cup domestic round-up: Adrien saves the day for Bnei Herzliya

MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) - As the two-week FIBA Europe Cup hiatus continues, the participating teams have not let their guard down and carried on with procedures as usual on the domestic front.

It was another successful weekend for the participants of FIBA Europe Cup, most of whom remain near the top of their respective national league standings.

This week, we will take a closer look at Jeff Adrien's heroics in Israel, the French LNB Pro A duel between BCM-Gravelines-Dunkerque and Elan Chalon, as well as action in the Hungarian Basketball League.

Bnei Herzliya's winning streak continues in Israel

Bnei Herzliya continued its formidable play in the domestic championship by registered its fourth consecutive victory in the Israeli Winner BSL league at the weekend.

In a yet another close game, Mickey Gorka’s side triumphed 75-72 on the road against Ironi Nahariya to extend their winning streak in the national league to four weeks.

With under 30 seconds to go, the hosts were still up by a pair, but a dagger three-pointer by big man Jeff Adrien put the Herzliya side in front, as the visitors went on to seal the win at the free-throw stripe by Stephen Dennis after a botched last possession by Nahariya.

It was only the third made three-pointer in the championship for Adrien this season. He has hit one in the FIBA Europe Cup as well.

“The game is changing all over the world andthis is something you need to adapt to. I have not really been shooting three-pointers since I played in Connecticut, but I have more confidence now and I’m glad I took the chance,” said Adrien who finished the game with a game-high 22 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Taurean Green chipped in with 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while the team’s captain Karam Mashour double-doubled with 15 points and 14 boards.

Bnei Herzliya have now won six of their last seven games, Winner BSL and FIBA Europe Cup combined.

Gravelines top Elan Chalon in France

All four French sides progressed to the Second Round of the FIBA Europe Cup, but that is hardly a surprise, especially considering how well they started their national campaigns.

Nanterre 92, Elan Chalon and Pau-Lacq-Orthez all rank in the first echelon of clubs, only behind the Basketball Champions League (BCL) Group A leaders AS Monaco.

The one club that has been struggling is Gravelines, who remain outside the Play-Off picture with a 5-6 record. However, they did earn an important 88-85 win against fellow FIBA Europe Cup participants Elan Chalon this weekend.

After trailing for most of the game, Christian Monschau’s side came back from behind in the fourth quarter to snatch an upset on the road after outscoring the hosts 15-0 in the final stretch.

The play-caller of the club said that it was nice to bounce back after last week’s overtime loss to Cholet with a solid performance against one of the top teams in the league.

“Winning both would have been extremely positive. Losing both would have been very hard,” Monschau admitted after the game.

The starters accounted for 82 of the total 88 points scored for Gravelines, as Kyle Gibson led the way with 21 points and Justin Cobbs chipped in with 20 points and 5 assists.

Cameron Clark had a monstrous double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for Elan Chalon who could not hang on to the victory despite a 38-27 edge on the glass.

Elsewhere, Elan Bearnais picked up a 70-60 win against Chalons-Reims, while Nanterre was not in action over the weekend and will play their game against SIG Strasbourg on Monday evening.

Alba Fehervar and Kormend lead the standings in Hungary

The two remaining Hungarian teams in the FIBA Europe Cup also occupy the top spots in the domestic championship, despite different outcomes of the respective games over the weekend.

Alba Fehervar retained its grip on the first place in the standings with an 85-79 triumph against Szolnoki Olaj after vastly outrebounding the defending Hungarian champions.

In a rematch of last year’s gold-medal tie, the Fehervar side fought for boards like lions and cashed in on a 40-26 rebounding advantage with the visitors from Szolnok making only 10-of-33 from long-range.

“We chose the best options both defensively and offensively in the fourth quarter and deserved the victory,” said Gobi Henrik, the assistant coach of Fehervar, in the press conference.

Alba’s go-to offensive player Justin Edwards finished as the leading scorer of the game with 23 points and 5 rebounds, while Hungary international David Vojvoda scored 20 points and dished out 7 assists in a losing effort for the Szolnok club.

At the same time, the previously undefeated Egis Kormend suffered two losses in a row last week. After losing to Falco KC earlier in the week, they were handed a 95-88 overtime upset by the mid-table Jszberenyi squad on Saturday.

“Until the middle of the third quarter, I felt we controlled the game, but then our playmaking became disorganized. We spent a lot of energy on this game, but we did not manage to win. It is difficult playing both internationally and domestically,” Kormend coach Teo Cizmic reflected on the loss after the game.

Despite the two losses, Kormend are still second in the Hungarian Basketball League with a 6-2 record and could cement their place even further, as they have a game in hand in comparison to the league-leading Alba side.