A week after being outplayed and relinquishing first place to Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Jerusalem will aim to return to winning ways when it visits Barak Netanya in BSL action on Sunday night.
Jerusalem (16-4) saw its 13-game winning streak in the league snapped with a painful 93-71 defeat at the hands of the yellow-and-blue at Nokia Arena last Monday, losing its position atop of the standings for the first time since the start of December.
A visit to Netanya should provide Jerusalem with an ideal opportunity to bounce back from the setback in Tel Aviv, with Yaniv Burger’s team losing five of its past six games, falling to 7-13.
“We are expecting a complicated game in a difficult arena,” said Jerusalem forward Lior Eliyahu, who scored just eight points last week, being held to single-digits for only the third time in 13 BSL games at the club. “We are facing a critical week and we want to make sure we get it underway on the right foot.”
Jerusalem visits Ulm of Germany in the first game of their Eurocup home-and-away last 16 tie on Wednesday.
Maccabi Tel Aviv (16-4) hopes to build on its two emphatic wins last week and maintain its hold on first place when it visits Maccabi Rishon Lezion (6-14) on Sunday.
Tel Aviv beat Galatasaray of Turkey 97-81 in Euroleague action on Thursday, hitting 16-of-28 shots from three-point range, three days after beating Jerusalem for its 11th BSL win in a row.
Rishon has won just three of nine league contests since Tzvika Sherf took over as coach, but it remains three games ahead of rock-bottom Maccabi Ashdod.
Ashdod (3-17) hosts Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (8-12) on Sunday.
Hapoel Tel Aviv (12-8) looks to strengthen its hold on fourth place, which leads to home-court advantage in the playoffs, when it visits Maccabi Haifa (14-6) on Sunday.
Tel Aviv welcomed star-scorer Raviv Limonad back from injury in last week’s victory over Netanya, but Haifa will still be the favorite at Romema Arena after winning its past six league games.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Eilat (11-9) welcomes Hapoel Holon (10-10).
On Monday, Bnei Herzliya (6-14) hosts Ironi Ness Ziona (11-9).