Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Joe Alexander.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Five years after winning the BSL championship, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil could find itself officially relegated to the National League on Sunday night.
Gilboa can’t even do anything about it, as the northerners will not be in action until Monday night when they host Hapoel Holon.
Gilboa will watch helplessly and hope Maccabi Ashdod slips up at Ironi Nahariya on Sunday, as an Ashdod victory will end any lingering hope Gilboa has of climbing off the foot of the standings and send it to the second division.
Gilboa’s 67-58 defeat to Hapoel Jerusalem on Thursday saw it drop to an 8-22 record, two games behind Ashdod, with each team having three games left in the season. Ashdod also owns the head-tohead tiebreaker over Gilboa, meaning Ariel Beit-Halachmi’s team will need to win its final three contests and for Ashdod to lose all of its remaining games to avoid the drop.
Since it lifted a second league title in club history under the guidance of coach Oded Katash in 2010, Gilboa has been on a constant decline. It reached the Final Four in the following season, was knocked out in the quarterfinal playoffs in the subsequent campaign and was well off the top of the standings in the past couple of years.
Ashdod won three straight games before suffering a frustrating 88-85 defeat to Maccabi Haifa on Thursday.
On Sunday, Haifa welcomes Maccabi Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is looking to build momentum ahead of the playoffs and close in on the No. 1 seed.
The yellow-and-blue snapped a five-game losing streak over all competitions with a 107-88 victory over Bnei Herzliya on Thursday and holds a 24-5 record to Hapoel Jerusalem’s 23-7.
The battle for a playoff berth and seeding in the quarterfinals also continues on Sunday when Ironi Ness Ziona (14-16) welcomes Hapoel Tel Aviv (15- 15). Ness Ziona currently sits in eighth place, which leads to the final playoff berth, holding a one-game lead over Bnei Herzliya.
Hapoel Tel Aviv is tied with Haifa, Hapoel Holon and Hapoel Eilat for fourth place.
On Monday, Eilat visits Maccabi Rishon Lezion (17- 14) while Jerusalem goes to Herzliya.