Hapoel Jerusalem is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself when it visits Maccabi Tel Aviv in a mouthwatering BSL showdown at Nokia Arena on Monday evening.
Jerusalem equaled its longest winning streak in the league last week, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 92-81 for its 13th straight victory.
The last time Jerusalem won 13 games in a row was in the 2006/07 season, a streak which was ended by Maccabi at Nokia. That defeat seven years ago came in Hapoel’s 20th game of the campaign, with Monday’s encounter to also be the team’s 20th contest of 2013/14.
However, Jerusalem, which currently leads the standings with a 16-3 record, is looking to rewrite the history books this season and will be aiming to record its second victory of the campaign over the yellow-and-blue on Monday after defeating Maccabi 87-85 when the teams met at Malha Arena at the start of December.
Maccabi (15-4), which has won 10 straight BSL games, will leapfrog Jerusalem into first place with a win by three points or more.
However, considering it will be entering the encounter three days after being thrashed by 35 points at CSKA Moscow in Euroleague action, even the tightest of victories will be a very welcome result for David Blatt’s men.
On Sunday, Maccabi Haifa remained within striking distance of the top two, improving to 14-6 with a 98-69 victory at Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (8-12).
Dagan Yavzuri had 20 points and eight rebounds for Haifa, with Donta Smith scoring 19 points.
Rick Jackson contributed 23 points and 12 boards for Gilboa.
Hapoel Tel Aviv (12-8) maintained its hold on fourth place with a 73-66 win over Barak Netanya (7-13) at Hadar Yosef Arena on Sunday.
Raviv Limonad scored 16 points in his return from injury, while Rashaun Freeman had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Netanya.
Ironi Ness Ziona improved to 11-9 with a 72-61 win over lastplace Maccabi Ashdod (3-17) behind 22 points and 11 boards from Tyler Honeycutt. Marcus Dove scored 15 points for Ashdod.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Holon (10- 10) beat Bnei Herzliya (6-14) 90-74.
Scottie Reynolds led Holon with 22 points, while Aviram Zelikovic and Michael Umeh netted 16 points each for Herzliya.
Also Monday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion (6-13) hosts Hapoel Eilat (10-9).