Jerusalem still perfect after tough battle in Rishon

Maccabi Tel Aviv extends winning streak to four games in all competitions with 80-65 triumph at Romema Arena.

November 24, 2014 04:20
2 minute read.

Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Sylven Landesberg scored 31 points against his former team in 80-65 win over Maccabi Haifa . (photo credit: UDI ZITIAT/BSL)

Hapoel Jerusalem was made to work harder than usual by Maccabi Rishon Lezion on Sunday night, but it still improved to 8-0 with a 72-64 win in BSL action.

Rishon entered the game after getting the season off to its best start in 20 years, and it gave the perfect Jerusalem a run for its money.

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However, the hosts struggled offensively after an excellent first quarter and couldn’t complete a comeback in the final frame.

Hapoel had won its previous seven BSL contests by an average margin of 22.3 points per game, but coach Danny Franco was particularly delighted with the victory in Rishon.

“This was a very tough game and Rishon deserve a lot of credit,” said Franco.

“This is the type of game which will make us a better team.”

Tony Gaffney led Jerusalem with 15 points, with Yotam Halperin adding 14 points. Jackie Carmichael had 21 points for Rishon (6-2).

“Our entire budget is like the cost of one of Jerusalem’s players,” said Rishon coach Sharon Drucker. “We had a chance to get the win, but we came up just short and that is a shame.”

Rishon stormed out of the gate, opening a 15-6 advantage. Amit Ben-David’s three-pointer took the margin to double- digits (25-14) and Rishon still had a seven-point cushion (39-32) at the break.

However, Jerusalem would hold the hosts to just 25 points in the second half and never lost control after opening the fourth quarter with a 7-0 surge (58-49).

Also Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv extended its winning streak to four games in all competitions with an 80-65 triumph at Romema Arena.

The yellow-and-blue was without the injured Brian Randle once more, but 31 points by Sylven Landesberg ensured it improved to 6-2. Devin Smith added 13 points and 16 rebounds. Jeff Allen had 17 points and 11 boards for Haifa (3-5).

At Romema, the visitors got off to the better start, scoring eight of the first 10 points, but Haifa netted the next seven points to take the lead and the Greens had a slender two-point edge (20-18) after the first period.

There was still little to separate the teams in the second quarter, but it was Tel Aviv which had a three-point advantage (40-37) entering the second half.

The game was wide open ahead of the final 10 minutes (57-51), but a fast-start by the yellow-and-blue led by Landesberg saw Tel Aviv secure the victory. Landesberg scored 13 of Maccabi’s 23 points in the fourth frame, with Haifa only managing 14 points in total in the period, ensuring the visitors cruised to another win.

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