Hapoel Jerusalem forward Lior Eliyahu had 14 and six rebounds in his team's 81-79 win at Hapoel Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Jerusalem led just once during Saturday night’s game against Hapoel Tel Aviv at the Drive In Arena, but it did so when it mattered most.
Guard E.J. Rowland scored the go-ahead basket with 31.5 seconds to play, giving the visitors an 80-79 advantage on the way to an 81-79 win, improving Jerusalem’s record in the BSL to 6-2.
Tel Aviv didn’t trail until that stage, holding a slender lead for much of the night, including what looked to be a crucial seven-point (79-72) gap with just under three minutes to play. However, it would go scoreless in the final 2:55 minutes of the contest, allowing Jerusalem to eke out the win.
D’or Fischer led Jerusalem with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Donta Smith added 15 points and Lior Eliyahu scored 14 points in his first BSL game in nearly a month after recovering from a broken finger.
“We showed a lot of character,” said Eliyahu. “I felt everyone gave their all on the court even when we weren’t playing that well.”
Robert Rothbart led five Tel Aviv players in double figures with 16 points and 13 boards, but Hapoel still dropped to 3-6 with its third defeat in four games.
On Sunday, Dan Shamir begins his second tenure as the coach of Hapoel Holon (2-5) when it hosts his previous team Hapoel Eilat (3-5).
Shamir, who was sacked by Eilat midway through last season, guided Holon between 2011 and 2013 and returned to the club following the sacking of Elad Hasin last week.
Holon has lost four straight games to fall to 2-5 on the season.
“Even though this is not a usual situation, I’m happy to be back at this special club,” said Shamir. “I’m replacing an excellent coach and a good friend I worked with for a long time and a human being I really love. This isn’t easy, but we will do everything to get out of this slump.”
Elsewhere Sunday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion (5-2) hosts in-form Maccabi Ashdod (5-3), which has won five consecutive games.
On Monday, Maccabi Haifa (4-3) welcomes Ironi Ness Ziona (2-6), which will be guided for the first time by Ofer Berkowitz following the firing of Nadav Zilberstein, Bnei Herzliya (4-4) visits Maccabi Kiryat Gat (2-6) and Maccabi Tel Aviv (6-2) will look to bounce back from Thursday’s defeat at Unicaja Malaga when it goes to Ironi Nahariya (5-3).