Hapoel Jlem basketball 311.
(photo credit: Roi Levy )
Hapoel Jerusalem’s vulnerabilities were exposed once more on Tuesday night as Ironi Ashkelon claimed an 80-77 BSL victory at Malha Arena.
After going unbeaten at home in the league last season, Hapoel has stumbled at Malha time and again during the current campaign, with Tuesday’s defeat marking its fourth in Jerusalem this season.
The hosts led by 12 points with 10 minutes remaining (64-52), but were outscored 28-13 in the fourth period and fell to a loss which seriously complicates their hopes of finishing in the top four and securing home-court advantage in the quarterfinal playoffs.
Hapoel has now lost seven times this season, the same as Hapoel Gilboa/Galil and Barak Netanya (which don’t play until Thursday) and faces a tough home game against Maccabi Tel Aviv (17-1) next week before visiting Maccabi Haifa (13-6) in its final regular season game.
Omar Sneed scored 19 points for Ashkelon, which guaranteed its place in
the playoffs with the victory. Jimmy Baxter and Brooks Sales added 17
and 15 points, respectively, with former Hapoel guard Moran Rot
contributing 13 points and nine assists.
Tre Simmons and Yuval Naimi had 17 and 15 points, respectively, for
Jerusalem, which was also knocked out of the Eurocup last week.
Five more BSL games will be played on Thursday.
Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Bnei Hasharon in its first game since its
Euroleague exit at Partizan Belgrade last week. Also Thursday, Haifa
hosts Afula, Gilboa welcomes Ironi Nahariya, Ironi Ramat Gan visits
Maccabi Rishon Lezion and Netanya visits Holon.