Basketball: Jerusalem extends winning streak with conquest of Rishon

Jerusalem had gone almost a month without a win until last Sunday’s victory over Maccabi Haifa, losing five consecutive games.

December 4, 2016 03:56
2 minute read.
Israel basketball

Hapoel Jerusalem easily beat Maccabi Rishon Lezion despite top scorer Curtis Jerrells being held to four points. (photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)

Hapoel Jerusalem’s revival continued with a third straight win over all competitions on Saturday night, beating Maccabi Rishon Lezion 79-59 in a repeat of last season’s BSL final.

Jerusalem had gone almost a month without a win until last Sunday’s victory over Maccabi Haifa, losing five consecutive games. A 22-point win over Haifa was followed by a comfortable 12-point triumph against Olimpija Ljubljana in Eurocup action last Wednesday and Jerusalem effectively clinched the victory over Rishon by the start of the fourth quarter, taking a 16-point gap (55-39) into the final 10 minutes.

Jerusalem improved to 5-4, with Jerome Dyson scoring 20 points and Lior Eliyahu adding 16 points and eight rebounds.

“It just happened,” said Dyson. “I let the game come to me. I had open shots and I took them. Once I made a couple I felt good.”

Jerusalem, which officially booked its place in the Eurocup Top 16 with last week’s win over Ljubljana, visits Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Russia on Wednesday, but the game that will determine if it advances from at least second place in the group and receives an easier draw in the next round will be against Ulm at the Jerusalem Arena on December 14.

“First of all we played good defense,” explained coach Simone Pianigiani. “They can play really good team basketball and it was a very tactical game. We also kept our flow on offense.

But this game was not finished at halftime and I was not happy at halftime. Rishon is a very dangerous team. This another victory at home that gives us confidence, but this win is nothing.”

Javon McCrea had 23 points and 13 rebounds for Rishon, which fell to 5-4.

“We made mistakes and we didn’t play with energy,” said Rishon coach Arik Shivek. “It was one of those days.”

Bnei Herzliya continued its excellent start to the season on Saturday, edging Ironi Nahariya 75-72 on the road to improve to 6-3. Jeff Adrian had 22 points and 12 rebounds, with Karam Mashour adding a double-double of 15 points and 14 boards.

Nick Faust had 14 points for Nahariya, which fell to 3-6.

On Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv looks to bounce back from its defeat to Efes Istanbul in Euroleague action when it visits Maccabi Haifa. Also Sunday, Maccabi Kiryat Gat hosts Hapoel Gilboa/Galil. On Monday, Hapoel Eilat welcomes Maccabi Ashdod and Hapoel Holon visits Hapoel Tel Aviv.

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