Ironi Ness Ziona’s three-year run in the BSL ended on Sunday night after it was relegated to the National League. Ness Ziona dropped to a 10-23 record with its fifth straight loss, ending the regular season in last place following a 95-84 defeat to defending champion Hapoel Jerusalem.
Ness Ziona would have stayed up with a win as Maccabi Kiryat Gat suffered an 85-82 overtime loss to Maccabi Rishon Lezion.
However, it was always going to struggle against Jerusalem and will have to rebuild in the second division after making the playoffs in its first two seasons in the top flight.
Jerusalem had little to play for after clinching the top seed in the playoffs weeks ago. However, it still improved to 27-6 with its 12th straight league victory, just one shy of the club record.
Jerusalem already knew it would be facing No. 8 seed Hapoel Tel Aviv in their best-of-five quarterfinal series, which gets underway in Jerusalem on Thursday.
Eli Holman had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Jerusalem, which seized control with a 13-2 run to end the first half, opening a 15-point gap (53-38) it easily maintained.
Fuquan Edwin led Ness Ziona with 21 points.