Hapoel Tel Aviv completed a perfect December with a tense 80-78 victory at Bnei
Herzliya on Sunday night, while Hapoel Jerusalem secured itself another week at
the top of the standings with a nail-biting win at Maccabi Ashdod.
Aviv beat Jerusalem in the State Cup quarterfinals on Thursday and improved to
7-0 in all competitions this month thanks to Raviv Limonad’s two free-throws
with 4.3 seconds to play on Sunday.
Erez Edelstein’s team hit the ground
running in Herzliya, opening an early double- digit gap (17-6) and taking a
10-point cushion (24- 14) into the second period.
However, Herzliya began
the second quarter with a 9-0 run and was down by five points (42-37) at the
A Dwayne Broyles basket midway through the third frame handed
Herzliya (57- 56) its first lead of the night, only for an 11-0 surge to put the
visitors in control (71-61) early in the final quarter.
Herzliya came all
the way back to tie the game through Aviram Zelikovic’s basket with 17 seconds
remaining, only for Limonad to score the crucial points of the night before Broyles missed a chance to snatch the win at the buzzer.
all scorers with 25 points, with Carlon Brown and Matan Naor netting 23 and 14
points, respectively, for Hapoel, which moved to 8-4.
“We lost our rhythm
in the second quarter, but I’m happy that we recovered and made the right
decisions when it mattered most,” said Edelstein. “We want to take one step at a
time and continue to improve.”
Michael Umah had 17 points for Herzliya
Jerusalem (9-3) bounced back from its frustrating cup exit with a
tighter-thanexpected 87-85 triumph at the floundering Ashdod (2-
With Eric Alfasi guiding Ashdod in league action for the first time
since taking charge of the side two weeks ago, the hosts were playing with added
motivation and there was very little to separate the teams in the first
Yotam Halperin’s basket to end the second quarter gave Jerusalem a
five-point edge (45-40) at the break and Ronald Dupree’s three-pointer capped a
7-0 run to begin the second half which opened a double-digit cushion
A 10-0 Ashdod surge tied the game (57-57), which would
ultimately only be decided in the final minute.
Hapoel squandered several
opportunities to clinch the victory and breathed a huge sigh of relief when
Guinn missed a chance to complete a comeback at the
Josh Duncan had 18 points for Hapoel, with Halperin adding 16
points for Brad Greenberg’s team, which won for the ninth time in its past 10
Xavier Silas scored 21 points for Ashdod, which lost for the ninth
time in 10 contests.
Maccabi Haifa (7-5) finally returned to winning ways
on Sunday, beating Barak Netanya (4-8) 90-74 at Romema Arena.
promising start to the campaign, Haifa lost its way in the past month, losing
three straight BSL games and its last two Eurocup contests, as well as being
knocked out in the last 16 of the cup at the hands of Hapoel Eilat last
However, the return from injury of Brian Randle helped the Greens
get back on track on Sunday, with the American forward contributing 13 points.
Donta Smith led five Haifa players in double- figures with 18 points, while
Dawan Robinson had 14 points for Netanya.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Eilat (7-5)
beat Hapoel Gilba/Galil (5-7) 78-62. Yancy Gates scored 15 points for Eilat,
with Deshawn Sims netting 19 points for Gilboa.
On Monday, Maccabi Tel
Aviv faces Hapoel Holon at Nokia Arena, with Ironi Ness Ziona visiting Maccabi
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