After lifting the State Cup for an eight straight year on Thursday, Maccabi Tel Aviv returns to BSL action tonight when it visits Maccabi Kiryat Gat. (.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Maccabi Tel Aviv looks to build on the momentum from its impressive State Cup triumph when it visits Maccabi Kiryat Gat in BSL action on Sunday night, while Hapoel Jerusalem hopes to bounce back from the disappointing defeat in the final at Maccabi Haifa.
Despite a dismal season, the yellow-and-blue maintained its stranglehold on the State Cup on Thursday, winning the competition for an eighth consecutive year with an 82-68 win over Jerusalem.
Maccabi, which has the best record in the BSL at 13-4, combined three straight victories over all competitions for the first time since November and will be confident of making it four in a row when it faces rock-bottom Kiryat Gat.
Kiryat Gat has lost 11 of its past 12 games, falling to a 3-15 record.
Maccabi also plays in the BSL on Tuesday when it hosts Bnei Herzliya before traveling to Russia to face CSKA Moscow on Thursday.
“This triumph was sweeter than previous ones after all we endured this season,” said Maccabi captain Guy Pnini.
“I hope that now we can also regain the league title.”
Jerusalem also faces a hectic schedule over the next week, playing three road games in seven days. Hapoel (11-7), which closed within two games of Maccabi with a 74-63 win over the yellow-and-blue in their last BSL contest two weeks ago, visits Maccabi Haifa on Sunday and goes to Hapoel Eilat two days later before playing at Maccabi Rishon Lezion on Saturday.
Jerusalem begins its Eurocup quarterfinal best-of-three series against Gran Canaria at the Jerusalem Arena next Tuesday, with the second game to take place in Spain three days later.
“We need to lift our heads because we are facing two very busy weeks with three road games and then the series against Gran Canaria,” said Jerusalem forward Lior Eliyahu.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Holon visits Eilat, while Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Ironi Nahariya.
On Saturday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion improved to 10-9, beating Maccabi Ashdod 80-52. Patrick Richard scored 17 points for Rishon, with Chase Simon netting 21 points for Ashdod, which fell to 5-14 with its sixth consecutive loss.