Maccabi Haifa sharp-shooter Dagan Yavzuri.
(photo credit: ERAN LUF)
While matters are going from bad to worse in the Eurocup, Hapoel Jerusalem can close to within one win of its best-ever start to a BSL campaign when it visits Bnei Herzliya on Sunday.
Jerusalem fell to 1-3 in Eurocup regular season Group E last week following an 83-74 loss to CSU Ploiesti in Romania.
However, Hapoel has dominated its opponents in local action so far this season, improving to 5-0 last Sunday with an emphatic 93-63 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv, the yellow-and-blue’s heaviest-ever defeat in local action.
Jerusalem has won its five games by an average 20.6 points per contest, only really being tested by Hapoel Tel Aviv to date.
The victory over Maccabi saw Jerusalem equal its 5-0 start from 10 years ago, meaning Hapoel now has its best-ever 7-0 beginning to a BSL campaign from the 1998/99 season within its sights.
After losing its first three games of the season, Herzliya has steadied the ship in recent weeks, winning two consecutive contests thanks in large to former Jerusalem guard Yuval Naimi.
The 29-year-old has scored 25 and 21 points, respectively, in the wins over Hapoel Eilat and Ironi Nahariya and is averaging 16.6 points this season despite finishing Herzliya’s first game of the campaign with just two points.
After losing its past two games and falling to 2-3, Maccabi Haifa will aim to return to winning ways when it hosts Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (2-3) on Sunday.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Holon (3-2) visits Ironi Ness Ziona (4-1), while Nahariya (0-5) continues its search for a first win when it travels to Maccabi Ashdod (1-4).
On Monday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion (4-1) welcomes Hapoel Eilat (1-4) and Maccabi Tel Aviv (4-1) hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv (2-3) in the derby.
Following the brawl and abandonment of last week’s soccer derby, police will be taking special precautions on Monday. Over 130 policemen and 210 stewards will aim to keep the peace at Nokia Arena.
Both coaches, Guy Goodes of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Oded Katash of Hapoel Tel Aviv, and captains, Guy Pnini of Maccabi and Matan Naor of Hapoel, will also hold a joint press conference on Sunday calling on both sets of supporters to behave in an appropriate manner.