Maccabi Haifa 311.
(photo credit: Maccabi Haifa website)
Maccabi Haifa finally had something to smile about on Tuesday, defeating Barak
Netanya 80-73 on the road in the EuroChallenge Last 16.
coach Elad Hasin with his assistant Ami Nawi a month ago, Haifa continued to
suffer loss after loss in the BSL, falling in 10 of its last 11 league
However, two of Haifa’s three league wins this season have come
against Netanya, and thanks to a late 15-2 run on Tuesday, the Greens once more
got the better of Eric Alfasi’s men.
Marco Killingsworth scored 21 points
for Haifa, with Robert Rothbart adding 17 for Nawi’s team, which improved to 1-1
in Group I.
Elton Brown had 26 points and nine rebounds for Netanya,
which falls to 0-2 in the Last 16.
Tzvika Sherf’s Spartak St. Petersburg
leads the group with a 2-0 record after beating Lukoil Academic Sofia 71-63 on
Netanya had the edge after a tight first period (21-18), but a
Sylven Landesberg lay-up midway through the second quarter gave Haifa a
five-point cushion (31-26).
There was still little to separate the teams
at the break, with Haifa leading 39-35.
A Frank Robinson three-pointer at
the start of the third frame gave the visitors their biggest lead of the night
(44-37), but Netanya came right back and nursed a slim 54-53 advantage with 10
minutes to play.
Netanya continued to lead for the first seven minutes of
the fourth quarter, but stunningly it was Haifa which would have the last
Eran Asante’s basket gave the hosts a 67-62 lead with 4:34 to
play, but Netanya added just two more points in the next three-and-a-half
minutes while Killingsworth scored at will on the other end.
American center scored 10 of his team’s points in a 15-2 run that opened an
eight-point gap (77-69), which even the woeful Haifa could not lose on its way
to claiming a crucial victory.