Bring On the 1/16th Finals
Orli Klinger ,11/27/2008
A laid back evening in Ramla ended with a convincing win by the local team over the Red Star of Belgrade, who ended their Eurocup campgin tonight, 76 – 54. Ramla allowed just eight field goals in the 2nd half, bounced back from the loss to Ramat Hasharon and can now focus on Ramat Hen who they face on Monday. In another game, Raanana Hertzelia got blown out in Russia to end their European season.

Elizur Ramla 76 – Red Star Belgrade 54
Ramla, who made it all the way to the Eurocup semi finals last season, finished the group round with a perfect record as tonight's opponent offered little resistance. Ramla built a double digit lead in the first quarter and maintained it in the second, 46 – 32 at the half. In the 3rd Ramla held the Serbs to just two baskets, made it a 20 point game and cruised till the buzzer. Ramla is ranked 6th out of the 32 teams who advanced, and will meet the 27th ranked Olivais Coimbra of Portugal. Game 1 will be held in Portugal on December 11th, with the deciding game in Ramla on the 18th.

Nicky Anosike led the way with 20 points, 16 rebounds and six steals, Lena Ogorodnikova was efficient with 19 points and Annemarie Parau had 10 assists and one turnover. But Ramla didn't really rise above the level of competition. "We can't seem to destroy teams, we should've won by a lot more. In the first half we scored 46, it should've been 65", said Eli Rabi at the end. "Our game isn't flowing. We have beautiful minutes and we have frustrating minutes. I'm glad we won by 20 after Monday's painful experience. We needed to recover". Ramla's next game will be at Ramat Hen, who already won at Ramat Hasharon who caused the aforementioned painful experience. They'll need a better showing to come out with a win. "We're not kidding ourselves, we're not playing well. On Monday we're playing the best team in the league right now, we'll be ready", he summed up.

A 7 – 0 run kick started things up for Ramla who went up 11 – 5, while the Serbs couldn't get anything going outside of the paint and Ramla made sure they'd try. Ogorodnikova had some good minutes before she picked up her 3rd foul, and Tan White finished well off nice assists by Anosike & Parau to help Ramla open a double digit lead. Ortal Oren came off the bench well and sealed the quarter with a baseline three off another Parau dish, 26 – 13.

The visitors cut the gap with two threes and a fast break layup, 21 – 28, but following a timeout Ramla put an end to their run despite making substitutions. Abramzon and Gourevitch got the lead back up to 10, and threes by Ogorodnikova and Gourevitch opened up the zone and made it 46 – 32 at the half.

Only one team came back out of the locker rooms, and even that team was far from brilliant. The Serbs turned it over too much and managed just four points in the quarter, and so the fact Ramla only scored 13 didn’t matter much. Ramla played strong man to man with good help from the posts, and every now and then someone volunteered to increase the gap on the offensive end. 59 – 36 after three. The 4th quarter was just for the record of course. Eli Rabi used it to practice a full court press and play the bench.

For Ramla:
Nicky Anosike 20 pts, 16 rebs, 6 stl
Lena Ogorodnikova 19 pts, 6 rebs
Tan White 12 pts
Ortal Oren 7 pts
Ina Gourvitch 6 pts
Annemarie Parau 4 pts, 10 ast
Katia Abramzon 4 pts, 6 rebs
Anat Goldberg 3 pts
Inbal Mizrahi 1 pts

Laine Selwyn and Dynamo Moscow also finished the group stage undefeated after an 85 – 58 win over Gorzow of Poland. The Israeli PG scored four points in 13 minutes.

Dynamo Kursk 77 – Raanana Hertzelia 50
Raanana Hertzelia ended their dreadful European campaign with a blow out loss in Russia and dropped to 1 – 5. Raanana Hertzelia fell behind 14 – 23 after 10 minutes, were able to get back to 32 – 34 at the half but fell apart in the 3rd. The locals exploded for a 27 – 5 3rd quarter to wrap up 1st place in the group.

For Raanana Hertzelia:
Temeka Johnson 14 pts
Charde Houston 12 pts, 9 rebs
Izabel Piekarska 10 pts, 8 rebs
Katia Levitsky 9 pts
Chen Nusel 6 pts

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Photo by: Motti Klinger

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