Recap: With a 16-year-old in the top five, Real Madrid beat Barcelona in the Clasico 79:86/Sport1
In 2019, Hapoel Jerusalem lifted the Winner's Cup, went on to win the State Cup and it seems that only the coronavirus pandemic stopped it from an extraordinary European campaign. Also in 2016 it took the opening tournament of the season, then won the championship and reached the semi-finals of the Eurocup. In 2014, it marked a V at the beginning, and at the end celebrated its first plate in its history.
So it's true that the Winner's Cup is not considered an official title, but based on what happened to the Reds in the seasons they won this tournament, it seems that the best of all in 2023/24 is yet to come. Jerusalem again beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final, this time 71:79, and returned to being the coordinated and orchestrated machine from most stages of last season; The one that paralyzes the rivalry and makes the opposing stars miserable, willingly slows down the pace and willingly scores clutch shots and runs for deadly outbursts.
One person who has not experienced Jerusalem up close since last year is Yuval Zussman. The fans of the ex in yellow greeted him with loud boos, but he received special support from the crowd that came from the capital and raised his level of play in the second half. "He should be part of our structure, not one that will develop as we go," coach Aleksandar Dzikic said of Sussman. "Sometimes he lets things get in his way, but we learn. We're a different team from where he's been in the last few years, and he needs time. The demands on him are different."
LeVay Randolph hoisted his first trophy as team captain. "I need to practice the swing, Oz Blazer taught me a little bit, and I'll be ready for next time," he laughed. "This title should make us hungrier. We can't be satisfied. We'll have to look at the mistakes and keep working and connecting."
Celebration in Red/Danny Maron
Randolph also referred to the usual statements of his coach, who again declared that "I'm not satisfied": "He's never satisfied. His mentality is special. He constantly lowers his head and works. He cares about what's going on within the group. Sometimes you come to the locker room after games and wait to hear something good, but he's not happy."
Jerusalem will experience a lot of Arena in the near future: next Monday it will open the Premier League with a home game against Hapoel Haifa, and next Saturday (October 14) it will host Hapoel Holon. Three days later they will begin their renewed journey in the Champions League when they play Benfica Lisbon, who qualified from the group stage qualifiers yesterday.
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