The BSL playoff picture continued to take shape on Thursday night as the regular season entered its final stretch.

This season’s surprise team Barak Netanya (14-11) closed in on clinching fourth place and home-court advantage in the playoffs with a convincing 83-61 win at Maccabi Rishon Lezion (11-14).

Netanya held a 23-20 lead after a tight first quarter, but it steamrolled Rishon in the second period, outscoring the hosts 27-4 to open a 26-point (50-24) halftime gap and effectively secure the victory, its fifth in six games.

Yehu Orland led five Netanya players in double figures with 16 points, while Daniel Aidan scored 17 for Rishon, which has lost five straight contests.

Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (12-12) claimed an important 82-79 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv (12- 13) in Gan Ner in the battle for the No. 7 seed in the playoffs.

Tel Aviv opened the night with a 10-1 run, but Gilboa, fresh off winning the Balkan League for a second straight season, soon closed the gap and the game would be decided in the final two minutes.

Demontez Stitt’s basket gave Hapoel a 79-78 edge, but the visitors would fail to score again in the final 90 seconds and Gilboa eked out its fifth consecutive win.

Jamar Smith scored 27 points for Gilboa, with Stitt leading six Tel Aviv players in double digits with 18 points.

Maccabi Tel Aviv improved to 21-3 and dented Maccabi Haifa’s (15-10) hopes of claiming the No. 2 seed with a 76-72 victory over the Greens at Nokia Arena on Thursday.

Haifa was ahead by two points (66-64) midway through the final frame, but Tel Aviv pulled out the win thanks to an 11-3 surge.

David Logan scored 15 points for Maccabi, with Shawn James adding 14 points and eight blocks.

Pat Calathes had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Haifa, which has lost three straight games.

Ironi Ashkelon (6-19) maintained its lingering chance of avoiding relegation to the National League when it snapped a 13-game losing streak on Thursday with a 92- 89 win over Maccabi Ashdod (10-15).

Ashkelon hadn’t won a BSL game since the last day of 2012, but it kept its composure to edge Ashdod on Thursday.

It will now maintain its top flight status should it win its final two games and Bnei Herzliya lose its last three, with the two facing off in the final game of the regular season.

Jarvis Hayes had 26 points for Ashkelon, with Marque Perry and Julien Mills adding 22 and 20 points, respectively.

Mardy Collins scored 19 points for Ashdod, which lost any realistic hope of reaching the playoffs.

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