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Tapiro back in form as J’lem welcomes Holon
By ALLON SINAI
02/17/2013
Jerusalem will hope to build on the victory over Herzliya when it hosts Hapoel Holon at Malha Arena .
 
Meir Tapiro joined Hapoel Jerusalem last summer on the back of one of the best seasons of his career.

At an age when most players are well into their retirement plans, Tapiro led Maccabi Ashdod to the BSL final last season, playing over 30 minutes per game and averaging 9.0 points and a career-high 7.4 assists.

The playmaker hoped to have a similar influence in Jerusalem this season, but for much of the campaign he has played the way you would expect from an aging 38- year-old guard in his 16th BSL season, which is exactly what he’ll be next month.

Tapiro has averaged just 5.6 points and 3.7 assists in 19.8 minutes on court in 2012/13, but he rolled back the years in last week’s 70-67 victory over Bnei Herzliya, amassing 19 points, six rebounds and four assists while also scoring the winning three-pointer with 13 seconds to play.

“We really needed that win after our tough loss in the cup semifinals to Maccabi Haifa,” said Tapiro, who also played for Jerusalem between 2001- 03 and 2005-07. “I think we received a stern wake-up call against Haifa. We want to prove that the loss to Haifa was a one-off and that we can compete at these levels.”

Jerusalem will hope to build on the victory over Herzliya when it hosts Hapoel Holon at Malha Arena on Sunday, looking to claim its fourth win in five BSL games.

After seeing its chances of advancing to the Euroleague quarterfinals all but end with an 82-77 defeat to Barcelona on Thursday, Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Hapoel Eilat at Nokia Arena on Sunday.

Maccabi dropped to a 2-5 record at the midway point of Top 16 Group F with the defeat to Barca, but it has won 13 straight league games and will be a firm favorite against an Eilat team struggling without injured star Scotty Hopson.

Also Sunday, Herzliya hosts Ironi Ashkelon and Maccabi Rishon Lezion visits Maccabi Ashdod. Brian Randle is set to make his debut for Hapoel Tel Aviv when it hosts Hapoel Gilboa/Galil on Monday, while Maccabi Haifa visits Barak Netanya.
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