Maccabi Haifa’s Alex Chubrevich (right).
(photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
Hapoel Jerusalem suffered its first BSL home defeat of the season on Sunday night, once more falling at the hands of Maccabi Haifa at the Jerusalem Arena.
Haifa stunned Jerusalem 87-72 on the road in the State Cup round of 16 on December 24 and exactly one month later claimed an impressive 82-72 win in the capital on Sunday to snap Hapoel’s seven-game BSL win streak at the arena.
Haifa controlled the second quarter to take a seven-point margin (50-43) into the interval, but the hosts fought back and there was nothing to separate the sides early in the fourth frame (60-60).
However, a 10-2 surge completed with just over two minutes remaining gave the Greens a double- digit lead they wouldn’t relinquish (76-66), resulting in boos from some of the Jerusalem fans.
Hanan Colman had 19 points for Haifa, which won for the sixth time in seven games to improve to 11-6. Tony Gaffney scored 17 points for Jerusalem, which fell to 13-4 and holds just a one game lead over Maccabi Tel Aviv at the top of the standings.
Maccabi Rishon Lezion finally returned to winning ways in the BSL on Sunday, beating Hapoel Holon 83-73 at home. After triumphing in nine of its first 12 games, Rishon lost four straight contests in local league action, with its last win coming back in the last day of 2015.
Some of Rishon’s defeats were clearly a result of fatigue, with Sharon Drucker’s men advancing to the State Cup semifinals with two wins and registering three consecutive victories in the Europe Cup round of 16.
Rishon stormed to a 14-point gap (26-12) after 10 minutes, only for Holon to tie the score at 38-38 entering the interval. There were still only two points (69-67) to separate the teams entering the final three minutes, but Rishon would clinch the victory with a 10-2 run to improve to 10-7.
Darryl Monroe finished with 23 points, with Mark Lyons adding 19 points, while Shawn Dawson contributed 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Will Clyburn had 21 points for Hapoel Holon, which fell to 4-13.
Also Sunday, Ironi Nahariya improved to 10-7 with a 94-87 victory over Bnei Herzliya (9-8).
Richard Howell scored 27 points for Nahariya. James Singleton finished with 19 points for Herzliya.