Yesterday, Turk Telekom had to have an easy job at Hapoel Tel Aviv in Eurocup. The Israeli squad was without 2 important players: the scoring ace Jordan McRae and J. P. Tokoto. Their rotation was very limited but they fought for every ball since the first minute of the encounter.
Hapoel Tel Aviv led by 15 points in the second quarter, but as the bench was very short, Turk Telekom bounced back as normal. In the last minutes of the fourth quarter, it looked like it will be an easy win for the Turkish side. Especially after the elimination of Chinanu Onuaku with 5 fouls, Hapoel’s rotation became even shorter. But at that moment of the game appeared the hero Xavier Munford. What he did is unbelievable and I recommend you to watch the final 2 minutes to see how this guy is scoring in the face of defence 3 consecutive 3 pointers.
With 2 minutes left, Turk Telekom led by 8 points and the game was almost sealed. Instead of defending better Munford and making some fouls (if necessary) to take Israeli players to the free-throw line, the visitors allowed the comeback. How to be back in the game without 3-pointers? Turk Telekom should have defended the shots from the arc and allowed 2 points baskets or free throws. It is a matter of choosing what to do when you are up by 8 points with 2 minutes remaining! You cannot allow 3 consecutive 3 pointers in your face losing the game in an embarrassing way!
Xavier Munford finished the night with 33 points and an incredible 7/8 from the arc. Without his amazing numbers, Hapoel Tel Aviv wouldn’t escape with a narrow win.
The article was written by Gratian Cormos, a Romanian journalist, book writer, life coach and mentor currently living in Barcelona, Spain.
If you are interested in collaborating with his website brainbasketball.net, in order to publish articles, interviews or other features related to basketball, feel free to contact Gratian Cormos by Whatsapp or Telegram at this Spanish number: +34 612414486.
Photo credit: Eurocup