Hap TA stays hot with convincing win over Gilboa

Games between Ironi Ashkelon and Bnei Herzliya and Maccabi Rishon Lezion and Maccabi Ashdod postponed due to rocket fire.

November 20, 2012 07:50
2 minute read.
Hapoel Tel Aviv's Matan Naor

Hapoel Tel Aviv's Matan Naor 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

A 15-0 run in the final six minutes gave Hapoel Tel Aviv its fourth win in its past five BSL games on Monday, beating Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 72-62 in Gan Ner.

Tel Aviv, which improved to 4-2, was blown out 88-52 at home by Maccabi Haifa last week, but it showed real character by bouncing back on the road on Monday against a desperate Gilboa team still searching for its first win of the season.

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“We are working very hard and are hungry to succeed,” said Hapoel coach Erez Edelstein.

“We have wonderful fans and we owed them after last week. I’m happy we managed to recover from that loss.”

A Bar Timor buzzer-beating three-pointer gave Tel Aviv the edge (21-19) after 10 minutes and Gal Eitan continued his inspired form since the start of the season and with six straight points extended the gap to 32-23.

However, Gilboa’s Kenny Hayes would outscore Hapoel 9-2 by himself in the closing stages of the first half and the hosts were down by just two points (34-32) at the break.

Amit Simhon’s three capped Gilboa’s comeback (42-41) midway through the third quarter and it was anybody’s game with 10 minutes to play, with Tel Aviv ahead by a single point (54-53).

Gilboa got the final frame off to the better start and was well placed with six minutes to play when Brandon Hunter gave it a 62-57 lead.

However, the hosts would fail to score another point until the end of the night, with Tel Aviv coach Edelstein making crucial adjustments that decided the game.

Gilboa could find no answer for Demontez Stitt and Eitan scored five critical points to clinch the win for the Reds, Stitt led Hapoel with 21 points, with Eitan scoring 12.

“This was an important win after getting thrashed at home last week,” Eitan said. “We played with intensity from the start.”

Hayes had 14 points for Gilboa, which visits the in-form Barak Netanya next week.

“This is a very painful defeat,” said Gilboa coach Lior Lubin after seeing his team fall to 0-6. “Clearly I have a big part in what has happened to the team and we will do everything to fix the situation. I believe that we have the players needed to climb out of this hole.”

The games between Ironi Ashkelon and Bnei Herzliya and Maccabi Rishon Lezion and Maccabi Ashdod were postponed to Wednesday due to the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza.

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