Maccabi Rishon Lezion guard Shawn Dawson.
(photo credit: ODED KARNI)
Maccabi Rishon Lezion prepared for its decisive Europe Cup encounter later this week with a convincing 74-51 win over Hapoel Holon in the BSL on Sunday, despite playing without injured Chris Wright and Kevin Palmer.
Rishon had hoped not to play on Sunday, approaching Holon last Thursday requesting to postpone the game due to its participation in continental competition. Rishon visits Skyliners Frankfurt in the third and final game of their best-of-three quarterfinal series after handing the Germans their first loss in the competition this year with an 88-84 overtime win in Israel last Wednesday.
Rishon said Holon had initially agreed to move the game to a later date, but following its ultimate refusal to do so angrily announced that it will have to use a makeshift lineup. However, even without Wright and Palmer, it made easy work of Holon, improving to a 13-12 record after outscoring Holon 31-15 in the first quarter and never looking back.
Shawn Dawson had 22 points and 13 rebounds for Rishon, climbing up to second place in the club’s all-time scorers list at the age of 22, second only to Mickey Berkowitz. Darryl Monroe added 22 points of his own.
Isaac Rosefelt was Holon’s (9-16) only player in double-figures, scoring 12 points.
In BSL action on Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv looks to bounce back from last week’s loss to Hapoel Jerusalem when it hosts Maccabi Ashdod, while Jerusalem can take another step towards securing the No. 1 seed in the playoffs when it visits third place Maccabi Haifa.
After being swept by Jerusalem in the regular season, Maccabi is in danger of also losing all three of its meetings with Ashdod. Tzvika Sherf’s team has won just two road games all season, but one of those victories came in Tel Aviv.
The showdown between Jerusalem and Haifa will see the league’s best offense clash with the BSL’s top defense. Jerusalem averages a league-high 85.7 points per game, while Haifa allows 74.2 points per contest.
Jerusalem will be playing for the first time since announcing the release of Israel national team center D’or Fischer, who asked to leave the club due to personal reasons.
Hapoel signed center Eli Holman earlier this month and he is set to be handed a bigger role following Fischer’s departure.