Ashdod recovery gathers pace with win at Hap TA

Ashdod had just three wins from 16 games when Sherf took charge, but has since claimed two victories from three games and finally climbed off the bottom of the standings on Saturday.

By
February 8, 2015 02:52
1 minute read.
James Nunnally

Maccabi Ashdod’s James Nunnally had 25 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in his team’s surprise overtime win at Hapoel Tel Aviv last night.. (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)

Maccabi Ashdod’s resurgence under new coach Tzvika Sherf continued on Saturday with a surprise 103-98 overtime win at Hapoel Tel Aviv in Arik Einstein Arena.

Ashdod had just three wins from 16 games when Sherf took charge, but has since claimed two victories from three games and finally climbed off the bottom of the standings on Saturday.

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James Nunnally led Ashdod, which improved to 5-14, with 25 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, while Yehu Orland added 24 points, including six three-pointers.

Raviv Limonad had 25 points and 10 assists for Hapoel, which fell to 11-7.

Ashdod got off to an excellent start, opening a 28-16 lead after 10 minutes. Hapoel finally showed up on the defensive end in the second quarter, holding the visitors to 12 points to close within four points (40-36) at the break.

Ashdod took a three-point gap (59-56) into the final 10 minutes after a tight third period and moved seven points clear (75- 68) midway through the fourth frame with a 9-2 surge.

However, Hapoel never lost touch and a Larry O’Bannon three-pointer with 25.8 seconds remaining gave the hosts an 84-83 edge.

Ashdod moved right back into the lead thanks to Avi Ben-Shimol’s triple at the other end with 13.5 seconds to play, but the game would only be decided in overtime after O’Bannon hit both his free throws with 7.4 seconds left.

The teams exchanged baskets in the first two minutes of the extra period, but Hapoel’s inability to stop Ashdod ultimately cost it and Nunnally secured the win from the line.

On Sunday, Hapoel Jerusalem hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion.

Jerusalem recorded two consecutive wins in the BSL for the first time since November last week, beating Ashdod 78-68 on the road.

After losing five straight games, Jerusalem seems to have finally steadied the ship with three wins from its past four games to improve to 12-6.

Rishon, on the other hand, has lost its way in recent weeks, losing four of five games to fall to 10-8.

Four more games will be played on Monday, with Maccabi Tel Aviv (16-2) hosting Maccabi Haifa (8-10), Hapoel Holon (11-7) visiting Hapoel Eilat (9-9), Ironi Nahariya (6-12) welcoming Ironi Ness Ziona (10-8) and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (5-13) facing Bnei Herzliya (6-12).


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