|Maccabi Tel Aviv teammates.(Photo by: Adi Avishai)|
Mac TA cruises in BSL, but Barca looms just ahead
By ALLON SINAI
"The game on Thursday against Barca will be of a completely different level," Blatt says after yellow-and-blue thump Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.
Maccabi Tel Aviv warmed-up for Thursday’s crucial Euroleague showdown with
Barcelona by crushing Hapoel Gilboa/Galil for its 13th straight BSL win on
Sunday night, while Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Holon both ended slumps by
upsetting two of the league’s top teams.
A 20-0 run in the second quarter
effectively clinched Maccabi’s win in Gan Ner, opening a 50-25 lead from which
Gilboa was never going to return, with the visitors ultimately winning
“After every high there is almost inevitably a low and a let
down,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt, whose team won its 40th State Cup on
“However, we managed to overcome that. The game on Thursday
against Barca will be of a completely different level, to say the least. We will
be facing the strongest team in Europe today, but we have proven that at home we
can compete with any team.”
Nik Caner-Medley had 19 points for Maccabi,
with Rakim Sanders scoring 13 for Gilboa.
After sliding down the
standings with five defeats in its previous six games, Hapoel Tel Aviv bounced
back on Sunday with a dramatic 78-77 win against Maccabi Haifa in
Hapoel led throughout the first half, but had just a fourpoint
edge (43-39) at the break. The visitors still held a slender margin (63-59)
entering the final frame, but a 10-0 Haifa run capped by a Gal Mekel basket tied
the score at 68-68. A Pat Calathes basket completed Haifa’s comeback (77-76),
but Bar Timor scored at the other end and Hapoel breathed a huge sigh of relief
after Paul Stoll missed a chance to win the game for the Greens at the
Demontez Stitt had 26 points for Hapoel, with Curtis Kelly adding
Donta Smith scored 19 for Haifa, which failed to recover from
Thursday’s cup final defeat to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Hapoel Eilat was in a
commanding position at Holon after one quarter, leading 28-15.
the hosts closed to within two points (35-33) by halftime and outscored Eilat
24-13 in the third period to take a nine-point gap into the final 10 minutes, a
lead they wouldn’t squander en route to a 74-63 triumph.
had 24 points and 17 boards for Holon, with Afik Nissim scoring 19 for
Also Sunday, Barak Netanya edged Maccabi Rishon Lezion
Rishon opened a seemingly comfortable 30-13 margin after 10
minutes and still held a 15-point cushion (54- 39) midway through the third
However, Netanya ended the period with a 21-6 run (60-59) and
claimed the win thanks to Raymar Morgan’s basket with 17 seconds to play after a
tight fourth frame.
Morgan ended the night with 23 points, while Marco
Killingsworth contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Lazeric Jones, who
missed a chance to win the game with three seconds to play, had 20 points for
Rishon, with Julian Wright adding 17 points and 15 boards.
Hapoel Jerusalem hosts Bnei Herzliya and Ironi Ashkelon plays Maccabi Ashdod.