Idan Paz (right) and forward Itay Segev (left) are expected to remain at Maccabi Tel Aviv for another season to continue their development, but Ike Ofoegbu (second left) and Dagan Yivzori (second right) will be among those who will pay the price for the dejecting 2015/16 campaign.
(photo credit: ERAN LUF)
A short-handed Maccabi Tel Aviv dropped to its fourth defeat from the past five games over all games on Saturday, losing 80-77 to Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil at Gan Ner.
With just eight fit senior players, and playing less than 48 hours after falling to Olympiacos in Euroleague action, Maccabi was always going to struggle at Gilboa.
The hosts led by six points (39-33) at the break and never trailed in the second half. However, they didn’t secure their victory until the final buzzer after Guy Pnini’s three-point attempt was short.
Jason Siggers had 23 points for Gilboa, which improved to 9-12. Murphy Holloway added 18 points and 16 rebounds for the winners, who triumphed despite hitting only 14-of-31 free-throw attempts and committing 22 turnovers.
Victor Rudd had 17 points for Maccabi, which will be hoping to have a few more fit players for Thursday’s Euroleague game against Olimpia Milano.
Maccabi, which fell to 15-6 on Saturday, will definitely not have top scorer Andrew Goudelock, who will miss at least the next five weeks after undergoing surgery on his ankle.
Veteran forward Devin Smith also won’t be available despite avoiding a serious injury after hobbling out of last week’s BSL win over Maccabi Haifa.
Joe Alexander and Quincy Miller are also missing from injuries and new signings Diamon Simpson and Nimrod Levi were still not ready to play on Saturday.
Earlier Saturday, Bnei Herzliya beat Hapoel Holon 59-55 in a low-scoring affair, closing within one game of the latter in second place. A 10-0 run to start the second half gave Herzliya a 13-point lead (38- 25) and the visitors managed to hold on for the win despite scoring just nine points in the fourth period.
Taurean Green had 15 points for Herzliya, which improved to 13-8, with Karam Mashour adding nine points and a career-high 18 rebounds.
James Bell was Holon’s only player in double figures with 18 points. The injury ravaged Holon dropped to 14-7.
On Sunday, Shmulik Brenner makes his debut as Maccabi Rishon Lezion’s head coach when the reigning champion visits Maccabi Haifa. Ironi Nahariya visits Maccabi Kiryat Gat. On Monday, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Maccabi Ashdod.