Dutch champions EiffelTowers Den Bosch scored their win of the season by topping former ULEB Cup champion Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem 101-94. Travis Young scored 29 points and Roye Berkowitz came off the bench for 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists to lead EiffelTowers to victory in the team's home opener. The result marked the second time in as many seasons that EiffelTowers beat a top team in the home-opener after defeating Real Madrid in overtime last season. Den Bosch improved to 1-1 this season and hosts Zadar next week. Meanwhile Hapoel dropped to 1-1 and hosts Unics Kazan next week. Kees Akerboom scored 18 points and Darrell Tucker added 17 points and 7 rebounds for the winners. Guy Pnini posted a career-high 23 points for Hapoel, while Jamie Arnold had 22 points and 8 rebounds and Timmy Bowers scored 14.
Jerusalem jumped out to an early lead, with Marcus Slaughter scoring first and then teaming with Pnini as the visitors went ahead 5-10. Young stepped up for the home team, which took a narrow lead midway through the opening period. Form that point the teams traded baskets until the 10-minute mark, when the score sat at 25-25. A pair of Sharon Shason triples got Hapoel going at the start of the second period and a Yehu Orland triple made it 36-44, but EiffelTowers got two baskets from Tucker and a pair of triples from Berkowitz to close the half on a 15-2 tear to hold a 51-46 lead at halftime. Almost single-handedly, Arnold steeped up to keep Jerusalem in the picture after the break, scoring all of the visiting teams points to keep his side within 59-57 midway through the period. Akerboom and later Tucker twice put EiffelTowers up 6, but once Pnini and later Drod Hagag answered with 5 straight points to keep Hapoel close. Pnini made a pair of free throws at the end of the period to tie it at 74-74. Bowers put Hapoel on top with the first points of the fourth quarter and the visitors nursed that lead for several minutes. But EiffelTowers found a way to stop Bowers, who became Jerusalem's only option at that point, and the hosts converted on the other end to earn the win.
EiffelTowers Den Bosch head coach Randy Wiel
"Today was one of our best games of this season. We should play every game like today. The game became ours to win when we started to run the floor really hard. Everybody played above their ability."
Hapoel Jerusalem head coach Dan Shamir
"EiffelTowers played very aggressive. They had a couple of very good moments and we didn't stop them when we needed to."
Wednesday, November 14, 2007