Hap J’lem, Gilboa/Galil both still vying for 2nd place

By
April 21, 2011 06:30

After being edged by Gilboa at home two-and-a-half weeks ago, Hapoel was embarrassed at Maccabi Haifa before being humbled at Malha Arena by Maccabi Ashdod.

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Jason Rich

Jason Rich 311. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)

The BSL regular season will draw to a close on Thursday night with three of the four quarterfinal playoff series’ yet to be determined.

Maccabi Tel Aviv will face Barak Netanya in the matchup between the No. 1 and No. 8 seeds, but the only other team in the league which knows where it will finish regardless of Thursday’s results is seventh-placed Hapoel Holon.

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Two teams are fighting for the runner- up position, with Hapoel Gilboa/Galil having its fate in its own hands, currently holding second place with a 16-10 record.

Gilboa, which had won five straight games before losing to Tel Aviv on Sunday, hosts Holon on Thursday, knowing a victory will set-up a quarterfinal series with the same opponent, starting next Tuesday.

However, a Gilboa loss will open the door for Hapoel Jerusalem, currently placed third with a 15-11 record.

Jerusalem visits Netanya on Thursday and coach Oded Katash will first and foremost be hoping for a win to get his team’s season back on track after three consecutive defeats.

After being edged by Gilboa at home two-and-a-half weeks ago, Hapoel was embarrassed at Maccabi Haifa before being humbled at Malha Arena by Maccabi Ashdod last week.

Jerusalem beat Netanya on the road when the teams last met one month ago, and with Eric Alfasi’s side losing four of its last six matches, Hapoel could not have hoped for a much better opportunity to return to winning ways.

Bnei Hasharon, which won for just the second time in six games last week, also has a 15-11 record, but it can finish no higher than third with a win at Maccabi Ashdod on Thursday coupled with a Jerusalem loss.

Ashdod can move up one place into fourth position with a victory and a Rishon Lezion defeat to Haifa on Thursday.

Haifa is all but guaranteed to end the regular season in ninth place and hold home-court advantage in the relegation playoffs against rock-bottom Ironi Ashkelon, which will try and snap Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 19-game winning streak on Thursday.


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