05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
Joe Ragland (HOLO)
Game Report
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MVP of March delivers in April: Ragland's double-double gets Holon to 1-0

HOLON (Israel) - The streak is still alive. Hapoel U-NET Holon continued their dominance against SIG Strasbourg, winning their third game in as many matchups throughout the Basketball Champions League history, using the home court advantage to take a 1-0 lead in the Quarter-Finals series.

It finished 93-75, meaning Holon are just an inch away from a place at the Final Four in Bilbao, Spain. SIG Strasbourg were within one possession midway through the third quarter, but could not keep up with the tempo of the game in front of the Purple Brothers.

Turning point: Matt Mitchell powered SIG Strasbourg to a comeback early in the third quarter, using all of his physical strength to get to the painted area and bring the French side to a three-point deficit.

They then did a fine defensive job against Joe Ragland, Adam Smith, Chris Johnson and Michale Kyser so Guy Goodes needed to find another hero. Out of nowhere, Rafael Menco went crazy in the third quarter, six of his 12 points coming when Strasbourg made it back to a one-possession deficit.

Menco also did his part on the defensive end, and found extra possessions offensively with his hustle, helping Holon open up a 12-point lead with 10 minutes left. Where Menco stopped, the stars picked up and kept Strasbourg at bay.

Game hero: Winning the MVP of the Month award usually meant getting extra attention from the opposing defense. But Joe Ragland handled the situation perfectly just minutes after striking a pose with the MVP of March trophy.


Ragland had 12 points and 12 assists with 0 turnovers, and Hapoel U-NET Holon were a +24 team with him on the floor. This was Ragland's 11th straight game with 7 or more assists in the BCL, no such run has been recorded since the start of the League in 2016.

Stats don't lie: In today's basketball, you can usually guess the winner by looking at the three-point shooting stats. Holon knocked down 10-of-22 from deep, Strasbourg were just 3-of-13 from the same distance, without a chance to steal home court advantage in the best-of-three series.

Bottom line: Ragland dishing out 12 assists means a lot of Holon shooters were on fire. Chris Johnson scored a team-high 18 points with 9 rebounds, Michale Kyser dunked his way to 15 points, Rafael Menco scored 12, Tyrus McGee 11, Adam Smith 10 in less than 15 minutes of work.


Matt Mitchell finished with 18 for SIG Strasbourg, Kameron Taylor scored 16, but they will need more outside shooting if they want to bring the series back to Israel for Game 3. Game 2 will be played in France on Tuesday, April 12.

They said:

"When you lead a basketball game for 39:31, you deserve to win the game. They were more energetic, more humble and denying all our strengths. We were not at the level to win this game, this was the fact today. Next game's in six days, we need to be ready for that." - SIG Strasbourg head coach Lassi Tuovi

"We got smacked, that's all I can say. We were not ready physically for this type of intensity. Maybe not physically. Mentally, we weren't up to take this physical challenge. Now we know what to do, can't wait to play at home." - Gaylor Curier, SIG Strasbourg

"We wanted to come out and make a statement. Coach did a great job getting us prepared physically, mentally. We knew they would make some runs, but we were able to get the game and come out with a victory. It's not over." - Joe Ragland, Hapoel U-NET Holon

"I'm happy about the way we came to the game. I really enjoyed seeing the guys fighting, battling during all 40 minutes. Our crowd was giving us a lot of energy, pushing the team a whole level forward. We did a great job on defense, we were ready for the actions they were playing, boxing out, little things. This is only one step, it's just 1-0." - Hapoel U-NET Holon head coach Guy Goodes