Nahariya opens EuroCup campaign with home victory
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Nahariya was without center Otis Hill, since teams are limited to two non-European players.
Jayson Wells scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Ironi Nahariya to a 95-76 home win over Austria's Gmunden Swans in the first round of the FIBA EuroCup. Nahariya, which came within a game of the competition's Final Four in each of the past two seasons (when it was known as the Europe League), was without center Otis Hill, since teams are limited to two non-European players. The northerners were held tight well into the third quarter by the Austrian champs, who are coached by Israeli Bob Gonnen. But after the visitors tied the score at 54-54, Nahariya stepped up its level of play and headed for a convincing win. Avi Sukar was instrumental with 14 points and nine assists, while Corey Carr scored 15 and Branko Milisavljevic added 13. Deteri Mayes paced the Swans with 26 points. Next week coach Avi Ashkenazi's side travels to the Czech Republic to face CEZ Nymburk in the second of the team's six games in Group D. On Wednesday night Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts powerful Maroussi Athens in a Group F game. Maroussi's coach, Panagiotis Yannakis, led the national team to the European title at last month's Eurobasket in Belgrade.