Hapoel J’lem preps for Mac TA with Ashdod thrashing

March 13, 2016 05:06
2 minute read.
Hapoel Jerusalem center Eli Holman had 12 points on his debut for the team in last night’s 95-64 win

Hapoel Jerusalem center Eli Holman had 12 points on his debut for the team in last night’s 95-64 win over Maccabi Ashdod at the Jerusalem Arena.. (photo credit: DOR KEDMI)

Hapoel Jerusalem will enter next week’s showdown with Maccabi Tel Aviv from first place in the BSL standings after continuing to gather momentum on Saturday with a 95-64 drubbing of Maccabi Ashdod at the Jerusalem Arena.

After beating Bnei Herzliya by 20 points last week, Jerusalem opened Saturday’s contest with a 12-0 run and never looked back, maintaining complete control until the final buzzer.

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E.J. Rowland had 20 points for Hapoel, which improved to 17-6, with Josh Duncan scoring 15 and Lior Eliyahu, Yotam Halperin and new signing Eli Holman netting 12 points each.

Isaiah Swann scored 25 points for Ashdod, which fell to 11-12.

Also Saturday, Aviram Zelikovic’s career-high 28 points led Herzliya to a 101-80 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv. Herzliya improved 13-10, cruising in the final 10 minutes after opening a 75-52 gap by the end of the third quarter. Robert Rothbart had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Hapoel, which fell to 9-14, failing to build on last week’s 84-68 win in the derby over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Maccabi (15-7) hosts Ironi Ness Ziona (7-15) on Sunday after yet another week of comings and goings in its roster.

Elijah Millsap was officially released on Thursday, less than two months after he joined the club. Millsap never settled, with Maccabi officials claiming that he acted in an unsporting manner on several occasions.

Maccabi signed forward Richard Hendrix a day earlier, bringing back the American who played for the team between 2010 and 2012. The 29-year-old signed a deal until the end of next season and his first mission will be to help the yellow-and-blue steady the ship after last Sunday’s humbling loss to arch-rival Hapoel Tel Aviv at Yad Eliyahu Arena.

Maccabi’s management fined the players half of February’s salary following the humiliating loss. However, the move is illegal according to labor laws and the club will have to reimburse the players, although it will be hoping that it at least managed to get its message across.

Maccabi is also set to welcome back Brian Randle on Sunday, with the American’s return coming at an especially timely manner after Trevor Mbakwe underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee last Tuesday and was ruled out of action for between 3-4 weeks.

Also Sunday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion (12-10) welcomes Hapoel Eilat (10-12) and Hapoel Holon (8-14) visits Maccabi Haifa (13-9). On Monday, Ironi Nahariya (12-10) hosts Maccabi Kiryat Gat (7-15).

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