There will be a decisive Game 3 in the 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals after Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem used a huge fourth quarter to defeat Valencia Basket 79-66 on Friday afternoon at Pais Arena Jerusalem to even their best-of-three series 1-1.
The hosts entered the fourth quarter trailing by 4 points, but put together both their best offensive quarter and defensive quarter when it mattered most, outscoring Valencia 26-9 over the final 10 minutes. Curtis Jerrells highlighted the comeback by scoring 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Tarence Kinsey led Jerusalem with 18 points and Yotam Halperin netted 11, including a pair of fourth-quarter triples. For Valencia, EuroCup three-point king Rafa Martinez led the way with 22 points, tying his season high, while Pierre Oriola scored 12 and Will Thomas 10. In many ways, three-point shooting was the story of the game as Jerusalem saw six players strike from downtown and the team collectively made 11 of 21 triples (52.4%), while only Martinez made any for Valencia, which shot 4 for 24 (16.7%) as a whole.
Travis Peterson's cross-court pass to Kinsey for a triple and Amare Stoudamire's layup opened the scoring at 5-0. After Peterson hit free throws and assisted Kinsey's layup, it was 9-0 and Valencia needed a timeout. Fernando San Emeterio finally got Valencia's first points after 4 minutes. Kinsey then picked San Emeterio's pocket and broke away for a dunk at 11-2. Thomas and Stoudamire exchanged inside baskets before Bar Timor's reverse made it 15-5. Martinez struck from downtown for the visitors but Timor and Halperin matched him from deep as Jerusalem led 24-14 after 10 minutes. Sam Van Rossom joined Valencia's scorers early in the second quarter but Timor's fastbreak upped the difference to 28-16. Thomas, Luke Sikma and Pierre Oriola all got to the rim to cut that difference in half, 28-22. Kinsey returned with free throws that Oriola matched with a jumper and a layup on Sikma's feed, forcing a Jerusalem timeout at 30-26. Stoudemire and Dubljevic scored in close before Martinez drilled a triple at 34-31. Jerome Dyson, Martinez and Peterson hit three-pointers in succession and San Emeterio's tough back-door layup made it 41-37 at halftime.
Oriola made two easy layups after halftime to quickly tie it up, 41-41. San Emeterio then gave Valencia its first lead with a baseline driving layup. Dyson and Sikma exchanged free throws before Peterson's drive forged a 45-45 tie. Stoudamire broke it from under the rim but San Emeterio responded with a runner that Kinsey and Martinez both matched at 49-49. Free throws by Jerrells and Halperin for Jerusalem, Bojan Dubljevic and Joan Sastre for Valencia, made it 53-52. But a tip-in by Thomas and a picture-perfect three-pointer for Rafa Martinez to end the third quarter put the visitors in charge, 53-57. After Jerrells opened the fourth quarter from downtown, Halperin followed him for another tie, 59-59. Thomas scored in close, but Halperin hit another triple at 62-61. Martinez raced for a layup as the lead changed again, but Jerrells brought it back with Jerusalem's fourth three-pointer in 2 minutes at 65-63. After a timeout, Kinsey upped the difference but Dubljevic fed Thomas for a dunk at 67-65. Kinsey from way downtown beat the shot clock and hit a shorter fadeaway to make it 72-66 with less than 4 minutes left. When Jerrells then hit an open layup, Valencia needed a timeout, but could not score after it. The next layup by Jerrells restored a double-digit lead with 2 minutes left. When his open three went through the net, it was 79-66 and the series was headed back across the Mediterranean Sea for a deciding Game 3 next Wednesday in Valencia.