Hapoel Jerusalem guard Yotam Halperin had 11 points in last night’s 88-58 win over Hapoel Gilboa/Galil at the Jerusalem Arena..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Maccabi Tel Aviv’s season hit yet another new low on Monday night, with the yellow-andblue losing 92-91 to Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil in BSL action despite leading by 14 points with six minutes to play.
Jason Siggers’s basket at the buzzer completed Gilboa’s stunning comeback at Yad Eliyahu Arena, handing Maccabi just its second BSL loss of the season.
Maccabi continues to lead the standings with a 9-2 record, but of a much bigger concern is the direction in which the team is heading under the guidance of coach Rami Hadar, who was once more lost for answers both on and off the court on Monday.
“We aren’t playing well and we are in a crisis,” said Hadar, with Maccabi also losing its past two Euroleague games.
“We have problems and we need to deal with them. I take full responsibility and I don’t have anything else to say.”
Maccabi has little time to recover, visiting Red Star Belgrade in the Euroleague on Thursday before once more hosting Gilboa next Sunday, this time in the last 16 of the State Cup. Three days after that it welcomes reigning European champion CSKA Moscow before visiting David Blatt’s Darussafaka three days later on December 23.
It remains to be seen if Hadar will still be at the helm by then, with no end in sight to Maccabi’s struggles.
Maccabi opened an early double-digit lead (16-6) on Monday and its gap reached a record 16 points in the third quarter (68-52). The yellowand- blue seemed to be cruising when it led by 14 points (84-70) with six minutes remaining, but somehow managed to lose the game.
A 15-2 run over five minutes brought Gilboa within a single point, but Maccabi still looked to be heading to a win when Guy Pnini’s free throws made it a six-point game (91-85) with 25 seconds to go.
Gilboa never lost hope, with a Joaquin Shuchman three followed by a steal and a Murphy Holloway lay-up cutting the deficit back to a single point with 10 seconds left. Gal Mekel then missed two free-throw attempts, allowing Siggers to run the court and clinch the win with a turnaround jumper right at the buzzer.
“It is a shot I shoot all the time,” said Siggers.
Holloway led Gilboa with 26 points and 10 rebounds, with Siggers adding 19 points.
Goudelock led five Maccabi players in double figures with 21 points.
“I lost hope at one stage, but the players always believed they could do it,” said Gilboa coach Ariel Beit-Halachmi.