Maccabi Rishon Lezion’s Shawn Dowson.
(photo credit: ODED KARNI/BSL)
A superb showing by rising star Shawn Dowson gave Maccabi Rishon Lezion an 80-76 overtime win at Hapoel Holon on Saturday, opening a 1-0 lead in the BSL best-of-five quarterfinal playoff series.
The 21-year-old, son of former player Joe Dowson, finished with 28 points and 16 rebounds, including important points in the extra period.
A three-pointer by Holon’s Laurence Bowers with 10.2 seconds to play in regulation tied the score and forced overtime. However, a crucial three-point play by Dowson in the final minute of overtime (76-73) would give Rishon a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Shlomi Harush had 16 points for Holon, which visits Rishon in Game 2 on Thursday.
The playoffs continue on Sunday when Hapoel Jerusalem (2) hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv (7) and Hapoel Eilat (4) welcomes Maccabi Haifa (5).
Jerusalem won 15 of its final 17 regular season games and will welcome guard Yotam Halperin back from a four-week injury absence.
Jerusalem and Hapoel were evenly matched in their three regular season meetings.
Jerusalem won two of three games, but its victories came by a combined five points.
On Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv (1) faces Ironi Ness Ziona (8) in Game 1 of their series at Yad Eliyahu Arena.
Maccabi received bad news ahead of the playoffs after swingman Sylven Landesberg was ruled out for the entire post-season on Thursday with a fracture in his foot. That leaves the yellowand- blue with just three senior Israeli players, Yogev Ohayon, Alex Tyus and Jake Cohen, causing coach Guy Goodes a serious headache with at least two Israelis having to be on the floor at every stage of the game.
Maccabi Haifa announced on Friday that it will make its fifth trip to the United States in past six years to play a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday, October 11.