Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Holon in BSL action on Sunday night, less than 48
hours after suffering its second straight Euroleague defeat.
yellow-and-blue began its continental campaign with five consecutive wins, but
it fell to 5- 2 on the season and dropped to second place in Group B on Friday
night after losing 89-87 at Montepaschi Siena.
The Italians had a
three-point edge (44-41) at halftime, but Maccabi took a six-point lead (65-59)
into the fourth frame.
There was nothing to separate the teams entering
the closing stages, but Siena would dominate the final two minutes, scoring five
straight points at a crucial stage to clinch the win.
Maccabi can at
least draw some encouragement from Shawn James’s excellent display, with the
American center recording the top performance of the week in the Euroleague,
scoring 22 points on a perfect shooting night (9-of-9 from the field) and
grabbing 12 rebounds for an index rating of 39, the second best all
Maccabi now sits in second place in its group behind Unicaja
Malaga, which improved to 6- 1 on Thursday with a 63-48 win over Prokom
“Our consolation is that we managed to lose by just two points
and that could be important,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt. “We will likely
need to win our final three games and for Malaga to lose at Siena, which is a
very realistic scenario, to finish the group in first.”
Tel Aviv still
leads the local league standings entering Sunday’s action, holding a 5-1
Holon fell to 3-3 last week after losing 76-68 at home to Hapoel
Ironi Ashkelon threatened on Saturday not to show up for its
game at Hapoel Jerusalem on Sunday due to the disruption last week’s rocket fire
from Gaza caused to its preparations.
Maccabi Ashdod’s game against
Maccabi Haifa was postponed to Wednesday for that exact reason, enraging
Ashkelon’s management, which demanded the same treatment.
The BSL said
that Ashdod only had its encounter put off as it is hosting the game and was
unable to train in its arena until Saturday.
On Monday, Barak Netanya
welcomes Hapoel Gilboa/Galil and Maccabi Rishon Lezion visits Bnei Herzliya.