Defending champion Hapoel Jerusalem took a 1-0 lead in the BSL best-of-five quarterfinal series against Hapoel Tel Aviv on Thursday night, surviving Nate Robinson’s remarkable 46-point performance to claim a 99-97 overtime victory.
Tel Aviv led by nine points with six minutes to play, but needed Robinson to force overtime with his layup with 3.5 second remaining in regulation.
However, he couldn’t clinch the win by himself and Jerusalem eked out the victory thanks to Eli Holman’s basket with 3.7 seconds to play in overtime. E.J. Rowland led Jerusalem with 19 points.
Also Thursday, No. 2 Maccabi Tel Aviv edged No. 7 Bnei Herzliya 76-75, No. 3 Maccabi Haifa suffered a 71-69 home defeat to No. 6 Maccabi Rishon Lezion and No. 5 Hapoel Eilat beat No. 4 Ironi Nahariya on the road 82-75.
In Tel Aviv, the hosts led almost from start to finish, but had to survive a scare in the final minute. James Singleton’s three-pointer with 18 seconds to play brought Herzliya within a single point, but after Yogev Ohayon hit both of his shots from the line, Drew Crawford missed a chance to tie the score from beyond the arc and Maccabi held on.