Raviv Limonad .
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Hapoel Tel Aviv made it two wins in as many weeks at its new Arik Einstein Arena on Sunday night, beating Maccabi Haifa 79-72 to build on its recent strong play.
Hapoel defeated Hapoel Jerusalem in its first game at Einstein last week and improved to 9-6 in the BSL on Sunday, with its eighth win from the past 11 contests.
Hapoel took a seven-point gap (33-26) into the break and led throughout the second half. Haifa remained within striking distance until the closing stages, but the hosts never lost control.
Hapoel remained in front despite missing its first nine threepoint attempts, with Matan Naor finally hitting the team’s first triple four minutes before the end of the fourth period, to open an eightpoint (63-55) margin from which Haifa couldn’t come back.
Yancy Gates had 19 points and seven rebounds for Hapoel, with Durand Scott adding 17 points and 10 rebounds and Raviv Limonad contributing 14 points and seven assists.
“We know how great a defensive team they are and we knew we had to play hard,” said Scott.
Ike Ofoegbu led Haifa with 25 points and nine boards, while Will Graves added 23 points for the Greens, who had won five of their previous six games over all competitions.
The remaining four games of Week 15 will be played on Monday, with Maccabi Tel Aviv (12-2) going for its ninth straight BSL win when it visits Ironi Nahariya (5-9), which has claimed three consecutive encounters after losing nine of its first 11 contests.
Also Monday, Ironi Ness Ziona (9-5) hosts Rishon Lezion (9-5), with the winner to move level with Hapoel Jerusalem in second place, while Maccabi Ashdod (3-11) visits Hapoel Holon (8-6) and Bnei Herzliya (4-10) goes to Hapoel Eilat (6-8).
Herzliya made two significant changes to its roster on Friday, cutting Magnum Roll and Kyle Weaver to make room for Julian Wright and Deron Washington.
Herzliya has lost four straight games and six of its past seven, but its prospects for the rest of the season look much better following the addition of Wright, who was waived by Panathinaikos last week and shined at Rishon Lezion in 2012/13, and Washington, who starred for Hapoel Holon and Barak Netanya in the past.