Hapoel Holon forward Joe Alexander (right) registers one of his two blocks on Maccabi Rishon Lezion center Idan Zalmanson (left) during last night’s 104-74 home conquest, with the American also finishing with a BSL career-high of 29 points..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
After a disappointing start to the campaign, Hapoel Holon trails only Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem in the BSL standings, climbing to third place with a fourth straight win in local league action on Sunday night.
Holon steamrolled Maccabi Rishon Lezion 104-74 to improve to 4-2, scoring at least 25 points in each of the quarters, with the contest as good as over when the hosts opened a 27-point gap (66- 39) early in the second half.
Holon was unstoppable on the offensive end, reaching three digits for the first time this season after hitting 23-of-34 shots from two-point range (68%), 13-of-29 from beyond the arc (45%) and 19-of-21 from the free-throw line (90%).
Joe Alexander led the way with a BSL career-high of 29 points, connecting on 11-of-14 twopoint shots. Tamir Blatt also had a career night, finishing with 22 points, including 6-of-10 from three-point range.
Glen Rice Jr. added 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Holon, which will hope to build on the momentum when it visits Dinamo Sassri in Italy in the FIBA Champions League on Wednesday night.
Holon finally registered its first victory in the Champions League last week, snapping a four-game losing streak with an 81-75 win over Enisey Krasnoyarsk of Russia.
Holon is still bottom of Group A with a 1-4 record, but is only one game back of Krasnoyarsk in fourth place, with the regular season consisting of 14 games and four of the eight teams in the group to advance to the round of 16.
Mark Tollefsen finished with 19 points for Rishon, which fell to 3-3.
After seven straight defeats over all competitions, Bnei Herzliya got back to winning ways on Sunday, edging Hapoel Eilat 70-69 in Israel’s southernmost city.
Both teams entered the encounter with a 1-4 record and the nerves took their toll early on. Eilat had a four-point edge (15-11) after a low-scoring first quarter and the half ended with Herzliya holding a four-point advantage (32-28).
The third period was all about Herzliya guard Shawn Dawson, who scored 18 of his team’s 20 points over the 10 minutes to give the visitors a six-point cushion (52-46) entering the final frame.
Herzliya’s lead reached nine points (58-49) early in the fourth quarter, but an 10-0 run saw Eilat move back in front and a tight finish would ensue.
A Jordan Loyd three-pointer brought the hosts within a single-point (70-69) with 28 seconds to play and Eilat had a chance to win the game after Herzliya’s Xavier Thames missed two free throws with nine seconds remaining. However, Amit Abu and Damion Jones squandered their chances and Herzliya survived.
Dawson finished with 25 points for Herzliya, which improved to 2-4 and will look to snap a three-game losing streak in the FIBA Europe Cup when it visits Minsk on Wednesday.
Loyd had 21 points for Eilat, which fell to 1-5 with its fourth straight loss, piling the pressure on coach Meir Tapiro.
On Monday, Ironi Nahariya (3-2) hosts Maccabi Haifa (1-4) and Hapoel Tel Aviv (3-2) welcomes Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (2-3).
Hap Holon lays a beating on Rishon Lezion Clubs trade places in the standings • Herzliya prevails by 1, hands Tapiro’s Eilat fourth straight loss Hapoel Holon forward Joe Alexander (right) registers one of his two blocks on Maccabi Rishon Lezion center Idan Zalmanson (left) during last night’s 104-74 home conquest, with the American also finishing with a BSL career-high of 29 points. (Adi Avishai) standings PREMIER LEAGUE GP W L PD Pts Maccabi Tel Aviv 6 6 0 70 12 Hapoel Jerusalem 6 5 1 47 11 Hapoel Holon 6 4 2 38 10 Rishon Lezion 6 3 3 24 9 Ironi Nahariya 5 3 2 15 8 Hapoel Tel Aviv 5 3 2 2 8 Maccabi Ashdod 6 2 4 -12 8 Ironi Ness Ziona 6 2 4 -29 8 Bnei Herzliya 6 2 4 -46 8 Gilboa/Galil 5 2 3 9 7 Hapoel Eilat 6 1 5 -43 7 Haccabi Haifa 5 1 4 -75 6 Sunday’s results: Bnei Herzliya 70, Hapoel Eilat 69; Hapoel Holon 104, Maccabi Rishon Lezion 74.
Monday on TV: Ironi Nahariya vs Maccabi Haifa / Hapoel Tel Aviv vs Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (live on Sport5 from 8 p.m.)