Maccabi Rishon Lezion claimed an important win in the battle for BSL playoff seeding on Monday, beating Hapoel Holon 90-84.

Rishon and Holon were tied on a 12-8 record before Monday’s showdown and with the win Effi Birenboim’s men have climbed to third place, one game ahead of both Holon and Hapoel Jerusalem.

After some tough weeks, Rishon has now won three straight games, while Holon has lost three of four.

Holon fell to fifth with the defeat, but remains tied with Jerusalem in fourth, and the battle for a top-four finish and home-court advantage in the quarterfinal playoffs looks set to go down to the wire.

Joe Crawford had 26 points for Rishon, with Brandon Bowman adding 25.

Tasmin Mitchell led five Holon players in double-figures with 18 points.

Holon ended the first quarter with a 10-0 run to open an 18-13 lead and also scored the first six points of the second period to extend its gap to double-digits (24-13) after Patrick Sullivan’s basket.

Rishon closed back to within five points (39-34) with under two minutes to play in the first half, but Holon ended the period the better of the two teams and took a promising 44-35 gap into the break.

However, Rishon exploded at the start of the second half, outscoring Holon 25-8 in the third period to take an eightpoint advantage (60-52) into the final 10 minutes.

Brandon Bowman’s basket in the fourth quarter increased the gap to as many as 16 points (69-53), and Holon could only come within four points (88- 84) before falling to the defeat.

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