Maccabi tel aviv Forward Sylven Landesberg (right).
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv picked up some much-needed confidence with a sweet derby win over Hapoel Tel Aviv on Saturday night, while Hapoel Jerusalem registered its third straight BSL victory thanks to a Curtis Jerrells three-pointer with 0.2 seconds remaining.
Maccabi entered the game on the back of another dejecting defeat in the Euroleague, losing 71-67 to Red Star Belgrade on Thursday for its eighth defeat in the past nine continental games, leaving it four games back of eighth place which leads to the playoffs.
Maccabi still has 12 more regular season games to try and resurrect its European campaign, including two this week at Galatasaray in Istanbul on Tuesday and against Unics Kazan two days later. The yellow-and-blue at least kept its BSL campaign on track on Saturday, beating Hapoel 87-73 to improve to 12-3 and maintain its hold on first place in the standings.
After a tight start to the game at Yad Eliyahu Arena, Maccabi ended the first half with an 8-0 run to take a nine-point gap (45- 36) into the break. The hosts then scored the first five points of the second half and Hapoel would come no closer than seven points until the finish.
Victor Rudd scored 19 points for Maccabi, with Sylven Landesberg adding 18.
Richard Howell had 18 points for Hapoel, which fell to 8-7 in coach Rami Hadar’s first loss after winning his first two games in charge.
Hadar was appointed as Hapoel’s coach earlier this month, less than three weeks after he resigned from his position as the head coach of Maccabi.
Earlier Saturday, Ironi Nahariya came back from 14 points down in the fourth quarter against Jerusalem, only to suffer a heartbreaking 81-78 loss, with Jerrells’s clutch shot taking Jerusalem to a 9-6 record.
Jerusalem looked to be cruising to the win after opening the fourth period with a 7-0 run to increase its gap to 69-55. However, Nahariya replied with a 9-0 surge and Gilbert Brown’s free throws with 1:27 minutes to play brought the hosts level at 76-76.
Nahariya had a chance to take the lead in the final 30 seconds, but instead of moving in front for the first time in the second half, Brown’s pass was stolen by Eliyahu and Jerrells clinched the win in the final second.
Eliyahu led Jerusalem with 18 points and six rebounds, while Travis Peterson and Jerrells scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.