Hapoel Jerusalem handed Maccabi Tel Aviv its second straight BSL defeat on Thursday night, claiming an
84-82 overtime win at Nokia Arena.
Jerusalem recorded just its second win
in eight games to wrap up the No. 5 seed and book a meeting with Barak Netanya
in the playoffs.
Maccabi Tel Aviv will face Hapoel Tel Aviv in the
playoffs after the latter clinched the No. 8 seed on Thursday.
opened a doubledigit margin in the second quarter (34-22) at Nokia before
allowing Jerusalem back within four points (36- 32) by the break. The yellowand-
blue reestablished a comfortable cushion in the third period (53-40), only for
Hapoel to end the frame with 14 straight points to move in front.
still seemed to be heading to the victory until Josh Duncan hit a threepointer
with 6.5 seconds remaining to tie the score at 68-68 and force
Jerusalem opened a promising lead (82-72) with a 13- 2 run in
the extra period and held off Tel Aviv in the final minute for a moral boosting
Duncan led five Jerusalem players in double figures with 20 points
and nine rebounds, while Devin Smith scored 19 points for Maccabi, which has
struggled for form since its Euroleague exit.
“We deserved to win,” said
Jerusalem coach Sharon Drucker. “We played well and withstood their comeback at
the end. We are working hard and hopefully this win can give us the boost we
Hapoel Tel Aviv (13-13) had hoped to end the regular season in
seventh place entering Thursday, but despite thrashing the already-relegated
Ironi Ashkelon 82-49, the Reds lost any chance of leapfrogging Hapoel
Gilboa/Galil (14-12) after it crushed Bnei Herzliya 103-76.
Tel Aviv can
still finish the regular season tied with Gilboa at 14-13, but the northerners
will nevertheless advance to the playoffs from seventh as they own the
tiebreaker over the Reds.
Tel Aviv opened a doubledigit lead in the first
quarter (20-9) and never looked back, winning for the sixth time in eight
Anthony Goods scored 14 points for Hapoel, with Jullien Mills
netting 13 for Ashkelon.
Gilboa also pulled ahead in the first period on
the way to a comfortable win.
Mitchell Watt led five Gilboa players in double figures with 22 points, while Isaac Rosefelt had 20 points for Herzliya.