Hapoel Jerusalem forward Lior Eliyahu (left) will play against D.J. Seeley (right) Maccabi Tel Aviv on Saturday night after being suspended from one training session this week following a clash with the coaching staff..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
The BSL’s best players will take a break from the tense playoff race on Tuesday night when the annual All-Star game is held at Yad Eliyahu Arena in Tel Aviv.
Only five games separate the league’s top nine teams ahead of the final month of the regular season. But for a few hours on Tuesday the league’s top players will be able to relax and showcase their skills without any pressure.
The main event will see a roster of the league’s best Israeli players face the BSL’s top foreigners, with the night to also feature slam dunk and threepoint competitions.
The Israeli roster, which has won five of the past six All- Star games, will be coached by Hapoel Holon’s Dan Shamir and Hapoel Eilat’s Oded Katash.
Maccabi Rishon Lezion guard Shawn Dowson received the most votes of any player for a second straight year, with Bnei Herzliya’s rising star Karam Mashour getting the second- most votes. Hapoel Tel Aviv guard Tamir Blatt, the son of coach David Blatt, finished third among the Israelis.
Hapoel Jerusalem forward Lior Eliyahu will make his seventh straight appearance, the only player to take part in every All-Star game since the tradition was renewed in 2011.
The Israel team also includes: Eyal Shulman (Maccabi Kiryat Gat), Jonathan Skjoldebrand (Ironi Nahariya), Bar Timor (Hapoel Jerusalem), Ezequiel Skverer (Hapoel Gilboa/Galil), Yiftach Ziv (Maccabi Ashdod), Oz Blayzer (Maccabi Haifa), Gal Mekel (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Itay Segev (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Shlomi Harush (Hapoel Holon) and Afik Nissim (Hapoel Eilat).
Both rosters include at least one player from each team in the league.
The top vote-getter among the foreigners, who will be coached by Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Ainars Bagatskis and Herzliya’s Micky Gorka, was Hapoel Jerusalem center Amar’e Stoudemire. Bnei Herzliya’s Jeff Adrien, Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Mark Lyons, Landon Milbourne of Hapoel Eilat and Gregory Vargas of Maccabi Haifa finished behind Stoudemire in that order.
Andrew Goudelock received the most votes of any Maccabi Tel Aviv foreigner, but he will miss the game through injury and has been replaced by teammate Victor Rudd. Curtis Kelly of Maccabi Kiryat Gat is also injured and his shoes will be filled by Josh Selby.
Also on the foreign roster: Chase Simon (Maccabi Ashdod), Charles Thomas (Maccabi Rishon Lezion), Darion Atkins (Hapoel Holon), Derwin Kitchen (Ironi Nahariya) and Eric Griffin (Hapoel Gilboa/Galil).
Griffin will also participate in the dunk competition, which will include his Gilboa teammate Michael Qualls, Adom Jacko of Herzliya, Nahariya’s Nick Faust and one Israeli player - Daniel Koperberg of Haifa.
The three-point contest will include almost all of the BSL’s most proficient shooters from beyond the arc. Maccabi’s Goudelock is missing, but Nissim, Guy Pnini, Orlando Mendez-Valdez, Skjoldebrand, Lyons, Selby, Sylven Landesberg and Amit Simhon will all compete for the title