Hapoel Jerusalem forward Lior Eliyahu scored 16 points last night, but it wasn’t enough to ensure the team avoided its first loss of the BSL season at Hapoel Gilboa/Galil..
(photo credit: ERAN LUF)
Hapoel Jerusalem’s record BSL regular season winning streak was snapped by Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil on Saturday night, losing 77-73 on the road for its first defeat of the season.
Maccabi Tel Aviv improved to 3-0 later Saturday, defeating Hapoel Holon 81-72.
Jerusalem was coming off 14 straight regular season victories stretching back to last season, and also got its Eurocup campaign off to an extremely impressive start with a win at Valencia last week.
Jerusalem visits Olimpija Ljubljana in Eurocup action on Wednesday, but first had to take care of business against a previously winless Gilboa. There was little to separate the teams throughout the night and Jerusalem’s failure to score at the end of the game ultimately led to its defeat. The visitors scored only two points in the final three-and-a-half minutes and Gilboa held on for a sweet victory.
Jason Siggers had 21 points for Gilboa, with Eric Griffin adding 18 points.
Curtis Jerrells led Jerusalem with 18 points, while Lior Eliyahu added 16, Yotam Halperin 14 and Amar’e Stoudemire 10.
“I knew it would be this tough and we approached the game in the right way,” insisted Jerusalem coach Simone Pianigiani, who explained his team struggled with the difference in officiating between the BSL and the Eurocup. “Our turnovers killed us because it gave them easy points on the fast break. It is not important if we win or lose one more game now because everything in our league will be decided in June in the Final Four. But it is important that we need to recognize the differences between the leagues.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv rebounded from Thursday’s Euroleague loss to Real Madrid with a straightforward victory over Holon.
D.J. Seeley had 18 points Maccabi, which hosts Galatasaray in Euroleague action on Wednesday. Darion Atkins had 26 points and 13 rebounds for Holon.
Also Saturday, Ironi Nahariya picked up its first win and handed Maccabi Ashdod its first loss, triumphing 82-70 on the road. Yancy Gates had 19 points for Nahariya, with Adam Ariel scoring 14 for Ashdod.
On Sunday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion hosts Bnei Herzliya. Rishon suffered its first defeat as champion at Hapoel Tel Aviv last week, but bounced back with a victory over Kataja in Finland in its FIBA Champions League opener.
Rishon got further good news over the weekend after Shawn Dawson, who was one of the main reasons it claimed the championship last season, was cut by the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. Dawson was hoping to join Omri Casspi in the NBA, but didn’t receive a contract offer after playing for the Washington Wizards in the Suammer League and participating in the Pelicans training camp.
On Monday, Maccabi Haifa visits Maccabi Kiryat Gat, with Hapoel Tel Aviv visiting Hapoel Eilat on Tuesday.