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
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
Yehu Orland led five Netanya players in double figures with 16
points, while Daniel Aidan scored 17 for Rishon, which has lost five straight
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
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.
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.
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
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).
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,
Mardy Collins scored 19 points for Ashdod, which lost any
realistic hope of reaching the playoffs.