Haifa edges Rishon in Brenner’s debut

Brenner replaced Arik Shivek as coach last week after working as his assistant, as well as under previous coaches Sharon Drucker and Tzvika Sherf.

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March 6, 2017 01:10
1 minute read.
Maccabi Haifa guard Gregory Vargas (left) drives past Hapoel Jerusalem’s Tarence Kinsey during last

Maccabi Haifa guard Gregory Vargas (left) drives past Hapoel Jerusalem’s Tarence Kinsey during last night’s 86-69 win at Romema Arena.. (photo credit: ERAN LUF)

 
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Maccabi Rishon Lezion got life under new coach Shmulik Brenner off to a losing start on Sunday, falling 83-79 in overtime to Maccabi Haifa.

Brenner replaced Arik Shivek as coach last week after working as his assistant, as well as under previous coaches Sharon Drucker and Tzvika Sherf.

Shivek guided Rishon to a historic championship last season, but was fired with the team owning a 10-10 record this term.

Rishon had its chances to get back to winning ways on Sunday, but scored just one basket in overtime, allowing Haifa to triumph despite netting only eight points.

Gregory Vargas had 18 points for Haifa, which improved to 10-11.

Charles Thomas and Maalik Wayns scored 15 points each for Rishon.

Oz Blayzer’s three-point play tied the score at 75-75 entering the final minute and the game went into overtime with neither team managing to add to its tally in regulation.

Both sides continued to struggle on the offensive end in the extra period, combining for seven points in the first four minutes.

Gregory Vargas hit both of his free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining to give Haifa a three-point lead (81- 78). Earlier Sunday, Ironi Nahariya improved to 10-11 with a 98-90 overtime win at rock-bottom Maccabi Kiryat Gat. Scotty Hopson had 26 points for Nahariya, with Josh Selby scoring 31 points for the losers.

Nahariya’s Jonathan Skjoldebrand sent the game to overtime with a three-pointer (83-83), and the visitors opened overtime with a 10-2 run to clinch the win.

On Monday, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Maccabi Ashdod.

In other basketball news, Dan Shamir signed a two-year extension as the coach of Hapoel Holon on Sunday. Holon is in second place in the standings with a 14-7 record, also guiding the team to the State Cup semifinals.

“It brings me and my family great pride to stay in this wonderful place and to work with these people and receive the warmth and love from our special fans,” said Shamir.

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