Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem will face off in the pre-season Winner Cup
final for the first time in three years on Thursday night after recording
convincing wins in the semifinals in Rishon Lezion on
Maccabi’s win over Hapoel Eilat was never in doubt after the
yellow-andblue steamrolled the southerners in the first quarter (25-7) on the
way to an 85-65 victory.
A dominant fourth period saw Jerusalem claim a
72-58 win over Hapoel Holon to set up an intriguing showdown on
After meeting time and again in BSL, State Cup and Winner Cup
finals over the past two decades, Jerusalem’s decline in recent seasons has
meant that the old rivals haven’t clashed in a final since the 2010 pre-season
However, Hapoel’s rebuilt roster has so far shown promising
signs under the guidance of new coach Brad Greenberg and will be hoping to make
a statement against Maccabi in Rishon on Thursday.
“I loved our
toughness,” said Greenberg on Wednesday. “We got behind early after turning the
ball over too many times, but we were much more disciplined with handling the
ball and much stronger defensively in the second half.”
was paralyzed by Maccabi in the first five minutes of the second semi, allowing
the yellow-and-blue to open an early 13-0 lead.
Eilat had no answer to
Jake Cohen and Shawn James and found itself in a deep hole after taking more
than five minutes to score its first points of the night.
margin continued to grow after Sylven Landesberg came off the bench firing on
all cylinders, scoring eight quick points to take the gap to 19 points
Devin Smith didn’t score even a single point for Maccabi in the
first quarter after netting 28 against Hapoel Tel Aviv two days earlier.
However, with Eilat being limited to just two baskets from 14 shots in the first
frame, Maccabi still cruised to a 25-7 cushion.
The margin crossed 20
points (31-9) after Joe Ingles’s three-pointer and Landesberg took his tally for
the first half to 15 points to ensure Maccabi was still comfortably in front
(46-32) at the interval.
Eilat scored the first four points of the second
half to cut the deficit to 10, but it would come no closer and Maccabi sailed to
another easy win.
Landesberg ended the game with 17 points, with Ingles
Kevin Palmer had 15 points for Eilat.
nothing to separate Jerusalem and Holon at halftime of the first semi, with
Ronald Dupree’s basket tying the score at 34-34.
Despite shooting well,
10 turnovers in the first half meant Jerusalem couldn’t shake Holon, which hit
just 9-of-25 shots from the field. However, Greenberg’s players regained their
composure after the break and opened a doubledigit margin (48-38) with a 10-2
run capped by an Elishay Kadir basket.
Eilat closed to within five points
(50- 45) by the end of the third quarter and was within a single possession
early in the fourth after Isaac Rosefelt’s basket.
However, Eilat would
manage just seven points in the first seven minutes of the final frame and a
17-5 Jerusalem surge opened a 15-point gap (67-52) from which the southerners
were never going to return.
Josh Duncan and Kadir scored 14 points each
for Jerusalem, with Dupree adding 13 points and Artsiom Parakhouski contributing
Anthony Goods led Holon with 16 points.
continued its US tour on Tuesday, dropping to a 91-69 defeat to the Detroit
Pistons a day after being trounced 130-89 by the Phoenix Suns.
return to Israel after facing the Memphis Grizzlies on October 13.RESULTS Wednesday’s results: Winner Cup semifinals: Hapoel Jerusalem 72, Hapoel
Holon 58; Maccabi Tel Aviv 85, Hapoel Eilat 65.
Thursday on TV: Winner
Cup final: Hapoel Jerusalem vs Maccabi Tel Aviv (live on Sport5 at 8:45 p.m.)
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