Herzliya fights back to edge Maccabi Haifa in overtime

Gregory Vargas had 23 points for Haifa.

April 17, 2016 06:24
2 minute read.
Bnei Herzliya guard Yiftah Ziv scored a career-high 17 points to help his team to an 88-79 overtime

Bnei Herzliya guard Yiftah Ziv scored a career-high 17 points to help his team to an 88-79 overtime win over Maccabi Haifa last night at Romema Arena.. (photo credit: ERAN LUF)

The battle for third place in the BSL standings was blown open on Saturday night after Bnei Herzliya beat Maccabi Haifa 88-79 in overtime at Romema Arena.

Herzliya improved to 15-13, tied with Hapoel Eilat and only one game back of Haifa in third (16-12).

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Haifa opened the game with a 17-2 run, but Herzliya battled back to take a 38-36 lead into the break. The visitors led for much of the second half, but needed a late Drew Crawford three-pointer to force overtime before outscoring Haifa 11-2 in the extra period. Yiftah Ziv, who is on loan at Herzliya from Haifa, finished with a career-high 17 points, as well as five assists and five steals. Crawford added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Herzliya, which had six players in double figures.

Gregory Vargas had 23 points for Haifa.

BSL action will resume on Monday when Hapoel Jerusalem (21-6) looks to make it seven straight wins and take another step towards wrapping up the No. 1 seed in the playoffs when it visits the struggling Maccabi Kiryat Gat. Jerusalem announced the signing of guard Edgar Sosa on Saturday, with the Dominican arriving from Iranian team Petrochimi Bandar Imam.

Kiryat Gat is fighting for its life in the top flight after falling on Thursday to a three-way tie for last place in the standings with Hapoel Holon and Ironi Ness Ziona at 10-18. Ness Ziona claimed its third straight win by beating Kiryat Gat 70-63. The team in last place at the end of the regular season will be relegated to the National League.

Ness Ziona visits Eilat on Monday, with Holon going to Hapoel Tel Aviv. Also Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Ironi Nahariya.

Hapoel Tel Aviv took sole possession of eighth place, which leads to the playoffs, after beating Maccabi Ashdod 95-80 on Friday.

Ashdod, which has lost six straight games, visits Herzliya on Tuesday, with Maccabi Rishon Lezion playing for the first time since the sacking of coach Sharon Drucker when it hosts Haifa.

Drucker was fired on Thursday, bringing to an end his reign which began last season.

Despite leading Rishon to the quarterfinals of the FIBA Europe Cup following an impressive continental campaign, its first since 2007, and only missing out on a place in the State Cup final after a double-overtime defeat, Drucker was sent packing, ultimately paying the price for his rocky relationship with chairman Itzhak Perry and the club’s management. Rishon (13-15) has won just five of its past 17 league games.

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