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Hapoel Jerusalem center Amar’e Stoudemire (right) is smothered by Hapoel Gilboa/Galil’s Eric Griffin during Gilboa’s 86-80 road win at the Jerusalem Arena last night in BSL action.(Photo by: DANNY MARON)
Foreigners claim rare triumph over Israelis in BSL All-Star tilt
The foreigners were coached by Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Ainars Bagatskis and Bnei Herzliya’s Micky Gorka.
After suffering five defeats in the previous six All-Star games, the BSL’s foreigners had a point to prove on Tuesday, beating the Israeli roster 139-127 in the main event of a festive evening at Yad Eliyahu Arena in Tel Aviv.

The BSL’s best players took a break from the tense playoff race to have some fun and showcase their skills without any pressure, entertaining 7,500 fans on hand, many of them children.

As the tradition of such events dictates, there was little to no defense played on Tuesday. This time it was the foreigners who made the most of the lackadaisical approach, opening a 13-point gap (70-57) at the break and remaining in control until the final buzzer.

Hapoel Jerusalem center and six-time NBA All-Star, Amar’e Stoudemire, who was the top vote-getter among the foreigners, was named as the MVP, leading nine players in double figures with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Maccabi Tel Aviv center Itay Segev led the Israelis with 20 points.

Both rosters included at least one player from each team in the league.

The foreigners were coached by Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Ainars Bagatskis and Bnei Herzliya’s Micky Gorka. The Israelis were guided by Hapoel Holon’s Dan Shamir and Hapoel Eilat’s Oded Katash The day also featured slam dunk and three-point competitions, won by Hapoel Gilboa/Galil’s Eric Griffin and Maccabi Haifa’s Orlando Mendez- Valdez, respectively.

Griffin received a perfect score of 50 for his dunks in the qualifiers and the final, for which his Gilboa teammate Michael Qualls and Adom Jacko of Herzliya also qualified.

The final of the three-point competition was contested between Ironi Nahariya’s Jonathan Skjoldebrand, who recorded the highest score in the qualifiers with 18 points, and Mendez-Valdez. Skjoldebrand couldn’t repeat his performance in the final, finishing with a meager seven points and Mendez-Valdez cruised to the win with 12 points.

BSL regular season action resumes on Thursday.
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