Hapoel Gilbo a/Galil center Zach LeDay.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil completed two wins over the BSL’s top two teams in less than a week on Saturday, defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv 81-79 at Yad Eliyahu Arena.
Gilboa registered its third win in a row after previously losing four straight games, holding its composure the better of the two teams in the closing minutes.
Center Zach LeDay had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Gilboa after finishing with 30 points and 10 rebounds in last week’s victory over Hapoel Holon.
Gilboa improved to 12-12, tied for fifth place with Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Eilat, with Mac-cabi falling to 17-7 and remaining without two consecutive BSL wins since February.
Deshaun Thomas scored 20 points for Maccabi, which has lost 11 of its past 15 games over all competitions, including going 3-4 in its last seven BSL contests.
BSL action continues with two games on Sunday, with Holon (17-6) playing for the first time since the unceremonious departure of the league’s leading scorer Glen Rice Jr. when it visits Hapoel Jerusalem (14-9), while Maccabi Ashdod (15-9) looks to keep rolling when it hosts the struggling Maccabi Haifa (7-16).
Rice, who leads the BSL with 24.3 points per game and led Holon to a State Cup triumph, was released by the team shortly after last Monday’s 94-89 loss to Gilboa, punching teammate Guy Pnini in the locker room after the two had exchanged heated words during the game.
After three straight wins, including at Holon three weeks ago, Jerusalem suffered an 86-78 home setback against Bnei Herzliya last week. Hapoel will have to manage without Israeli for-ward Lior Eliyahu, who was ruled out for three weeks with a broken toe.
Ashdod improved to 15-9 and made it six straight wins by beating Bnei Herzliya 74-72 last Thursday. Brad Greenberg’s side has triumphed in 12 of 14 league games since the turn of the year, only losing to Holon and Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Haifa is in desperate need of a win, losing four of five games to fall to 7-16, tied with Ironi Na-hariya for the league’s worst record.
Nahariya hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion (10-14) on Monday, with Hapoel Eilat (12-12) welcoming Ironi Ness Ziona (10-14) and Bnei Herzliya (9-15) visiting Hapoel Tel Aviv (12-12).