Basketball: Jerusalem, Maccabi Tel Aviv cruise to easy wins ahead of showdown

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January 1, 2016 00:45
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Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv prepared for their BSL clash next week with comfortable victories on Thursday night, remaining tied at the top of the standings after improving to an 11-3 record.

Despite playing without D’or Fischer and Tony Gaffney, Jerusalem all but secured its 109-77 win at Ironi Ness Ziona with a 20-3 run to end the first quarter, opening a 19-point gap (31- 12). The margin reached 30 points after Hapoel scored 17 of the first 21 points of the second period (48-16), allowing coach Danny Franco to rest his starters ahead of the encounter with the yellow-and-blue.

Josh Duncan led Jerusalem with 21 points, with Lior Eliyahu finishing with 18 points and 12 assists and Matt Janning also scoring 18.

“We showed our superiority from the start,” said Eliyahu. “I’m happy that we knew how to make this game easy.”

Ivan Aska had 20 points for Ness Ziona, which dropped to 5-9.

Maccabi Tel Aviv led Hapoel Holon by just three points (20-17) after the first quarter at Yad Eliyahu Arena. However, it would outscore Holon 26-10 in the second frame to take a 19-point margin (46-27) into the break and never looked back, ultimately claiming a 93-75 win.

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