Hapoel Jerusalem will aim to build on a modest two-game winning streak when it travels to Ironi Nahariya on Sunday in a much-anticipated BSL Matchday 4 game.
The game is the first of two in 48 hours for both teams. Jerusalem will leave for Italy immediately after the game to face Lottomatica Roma in the ULEB Cup on Tuesday. Nahariya will host Czech side CEZ Nymburk that same night in the EuroCup.
Each team will feature a key player going up against his previous club. Nahariya's Jayson Wells joined Jerusalem midway through last season and was a key part of a late season turnaround.
Jerusalem's Erez Marckovitch did the reverse route after building a name for himself in Nahariya as the league's top Israeli center.
The capital city hoopsters showed their first signs of life this past week with a big fourth quarter in Sunday's State Cup victory over Maccabi Givat Shmuel and an easy win over Frankfurt Skyliners in the ULEB Cup. However these next two games could represent Jerusalem's toughest week on its schedule all season and victories may be what coach Erez Edelstein's charges need to gel together and make a run in both competitions.
In other Sunday night games, guard Jeryl Sasser could make his Bnei Hasharon debut as coach Ya'acov Geno's side heads to Maccabi Rishon. Sasser, 26, was a 2001 first round pick by the NBA's Orlando Magic. He replaces Cookie Belcher, whose season came to a premature end with a broken hand. However Sasser is carrying a minor injury and the club will wait to decide whether to risk him.
Also Sunday, Ramat Hasharon will seek its first league win of the season when it travels to Ironi Ramat Gan, which will be without forward Kei Madison, who was ejected in his team's State Cup victory last week, and Elitzur Ashkelon hosts Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan.
The highlighted game of Matchday 4 takes place on Monday when Hapoel hosts cross-town rival Maccabi at Nokia Arena for the first Tel Aviv derby of the season. The game will mark the first time this season Hapoel uses Nokia as its home court.
Maccabi Givat Shmuel has a bye this week.