David Blatt 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Tel Aviv began its 2011/12 BSL campaign where it left off last season,
thrashing Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 95- 60 in Gan Ner on Sunday night.
encounter was even more one sided than last season’s Final Four title game,
which Maccabi won by 27 points.
There was, however, plenty of exciting
action in the night’s three other games, with Hapoel Holon edging Maccabi Rishon
Lezion 87-83, BC Habika’a beating Maccabi Haifa 81-80 in overtime and Ironi
Ashkelon defeating Maccabi Ashdod 89-79.
Hapoel Jerusalem opens its
season on Monday when it hosts Bnei Hasharon.
At Gan Ner, Tel Aviv scored
17 of the night’s first 20 points, and its victory was as good as guaranteed
after it opened a 29-9 margin by the end of the first period.
never even threatened to mount a comeback and Maccabi coach David Blatt could
use the rest of the game to continue to prepare his team for its Euroleague
opener at Milano on Thursday.
“We were sharp and played good, fast and
aggressive basketball,” Blatt said.
“We did what we had to do and from
that standpoint this was a good preparation for the game in Milano. However, we
will be playing a completely different level of opposition on
David Blu had 21 points for Maccabi, with Devin Smith and Lior
Eliyahu adding 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Ido Kozikaro scored 17
points for Gilboa, which was crushed once more after losing by 34 points in its
Chance Cup quarterfinal against Hapoel Holon last week.
for the fourth time in seven days, Hapoel Holon continued its impressive play
from last week’s preseason Chance Cup on Sunday, beating Maccabi Rishon Lezion
There was little to separate the teams in the first half, with
Rishon leading 38-36 at the break. The visitors extended their gap to double
digits in the third period (52-42), but Holon came right back and tied the game
at 68-68 with just over five minutes to play in the game.
would crucially go on a 10-1 run in the next two minutes, and despite Rishon’s
best efforts, the hosts held on for a confidence-boosting win.
scored 25 points for Holon, with Patrick Sullivan adding 14 and Bryant Dunston
contributing 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Effi Birenboim was completely
dependent on two players, with Brandon Bowman and Joe Crawford scoring almost 70
percent of Rishon’s points.
Bowman had 30 points, including five of five
from three-point range, while Crawford scored 28 points.
In the closest
game of the night, Habika’a got life in the BSL off to a winning start thanks to
Dion Dowell’s basket with 11 seconds to play.
Haifa led for much of the
game, but Habika’a moved in front with four minutes to play, only for Sean
Williams to send the encounter into overtime with a dunk with just four seconds
However, the newly-promoted Habika’a would still clinch the win it
so desperately desired after Dowell’s clutch long-range jumper and Jeremy Wise’s
miss at the buzzer.
Paul Delaney led Habika’a with 24 points, with
Rashaun Freeman contributing 16 points and 12 rebounds.
and Carlos Powell had 21 points each for Haifa.
Also Sunday, Raviv
Limonad marked his return to Israel after a season at Menorca in Spain with an
outstanding statistical line in Ashkelon’s impressive victory at
Limonad scored 24 points, hitting 11 of 12 shots, while also
grabbing eight rebounds, recording eight steals and handing out seven assists,
all in just 29 minutes on court.
Raymar Morgan, who only joined the team
last week, added 21 points, with Ramel Bradley scoring 31 for Ashdod, which led
25-16 after 10 minutes, but was outscored 54-33 in the second and third quarters