A vintage performance by veteran guard Meir Tapiro helped Hapoel Jerusalem back
to winning ways on Monday night.
Jerusalem rebounded from its shocking
showing in the State Cup semifinals last week with a dramatic 70-67 BSL victory
over Bnei Herzliya at Malha Arena, with the 37-year-old scoring the winning
three-pointer with 13 seconds to play, ending the night with 19 points, six
rebounds and four assists.
Hapoel was completely outplayed by Maccabi
Haifa in the cup semis, losing by 19 points, and it also dropped to a humbling
17- point thrashing at the hands of Maccabi Ashdod in its previous BSL
The Jerusalem fans very nearly tasted bitter disappointment once
more on Monday, but Tapiro’s triple gave Hapoel a much-needed win after two
Jerusalem had a four-point edge (23-19) after 10 minutes and
led by as many as 14 points (33-19) in the second quarter after opening the
period with a 10-0 run.
Herzliya closed to within six points (42-36) by
the break, but Jacob Pullen’s three midway through the third quarter
reestablished a 14-point margin (52-38), only for the visitors to cut the
deficit to five points (54-49) by the end of the frame.
gave up the chase and tied the game at 67-67 in the final minute thanks to
Jumaine Jones’s free throws.
However, Tapiro came to Jerusalem’s rescue
and Hapoel improved to 9-7 on the season to climb up to third place in the
Elishay Kadir added 15 points and eight boards for Hapoel,
while Jones had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Herzliya.
Maccabi Ashdod recorded its third consecutive league win, thrashing Ironi
Ashkelon 110-83 on the road.
Ashdod seized control by outscoring the
hosts 36-20 in the first period and never looked back.
Mardy Collins led
six Ashdod players in double figures with 24 points, 11 assists and seven
rebounds, with Austin Freeman and Diamon Simpson scoring 19 points each. Jarvis
Hayes had 18 points for Ashkelon, which has lost its past five games by an
average 19.4 points.