Hapoel Tel Aviv sent Hapoel Jerusalem packing from the State Cup on Thursday
night, while Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Eilat and Maccabi Rishon Lezion also all
advanced to the semifinals.
Both Hapoel Tel Aviv and Jerusalem entered
Thursday’s showdown at Hadar Yosef Arena in excellent form, but the hosts seized
the initiative from the start and remained in control until the final buzzer to
claim an 83-71 victory.
Maccabi Tel Aviv surged to a 28-7 margin in the
first period against Bnei Herzliya and maintained a double-digit gap throughout
the night on the way to an easy 76-58 win at Nokia Arena.
Schortsanitis led Maccabi with 12 points, with Guy Pnini, Yogev Ohayon and David
Blu netting 11 points each.
Michael Umah had 17 points for
Tzvika Sherf’s return to Israeli basketball couldn’t have gone
any better on Thursday, with Rishon Lezion beating Hapoel Gilboa/Galil
Sherf was out of coaching for more than two years and hadn’t
guided an Israeli team in more than five years. However, his motivational skills
will never be outdated and an 11-2 run to end the first half gave Rishon a 10-
point gap (42-32) it comfortably maintained after the break.
Hopkins had 35 points for Rishon, with Tasmin Mitchell adding 14
Nimrod Tishman led five Gilboa players in double-figures with 16
Hapoel Eilat had to work much harder than expected against the
National League’s lone representative in the last eight, Ramat Hasharon, but
ultimately claimed a 107-103 win in overtime.
Ramat Hasharon stunned
Eilat with a 14-3 run in the final five minutes of regulation, with Evgeni
Lioutrine’s jumper tying the score at 88-88.
However, Eilat would breathe
a huge sigh of relief after edging the hosts in the extra period to secure its
progress to the last four.
Kevin Palmer led six Eilat players in
double-digits with 18 points, with Josh Alexander scoring 28 points for Ramat
The draw for the last four will be held on Tuesday, with the
semifinals and final to take place at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv on February 3 and
At Hadar Yosef, the hosts got off to the stronger start,
but Jerusalem remained within striking distance, trailing by a slender
five-point gap (20-15) after 10 minutes.
However, the hosts would pull
ahead at the start of the second period, with two consecutive three-pointers by
Carlon Brown opening a 13-point gap (32-19).
Jerusalem closed back to
within four points with an 11-2 run (34- 30), but Tel Aviv would have the last
laugh of the first half, with Jonathan Skjoldebrand hitting a three to open a
Four straight points by Raviv Limonad took Tel Aviv’s
cushion back to 13 points (61-48), only for the visitors to cut the deficit back
to seven points (61-54) ahead of the final frame.
However, they would
come no closer, with a 9-0 Tel Aviv run building a 16-point lead (72-56) from
which Jerusalem never threatened to return.
Brown led Hapoel with 19
points, with Josh Owens contributing 17 points and nine rebounds. Limonad had 16
points and eight assists, continuing his remarkable run that has seen him score
at least 15 points in all 11 of his team’s BSL games as well as its past two cup
Josh Duncan had 22 points and nine boards for Jerusalem, with
Derwin Kitchen adding 15 points for Brad Greenberg’s team, which had won its
previous six games in local league and cup action.
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