Maccabi Ashdod guard Yiftach Ziv (99) had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists in last night’s 70-57 BSL home victory over Amar’e Stoudemire (right) and Hapoel Jerusalem..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Matters kept going from bad to worse for Hapoel Jerusalem on Sunday night.
Jerusalem suffered its third humbling defeat in a row, being thrashed 70-57 by Maccabi Ashdod to fall to 3-3 in the BSL.
Hapoel got the season off to a promising start, wining three of four local league games and its first three contests in the Eurocup.
The team has completely capitulated over the past week though, losing to Hapoel Holon by 23 points in the BSL before suffering a 26-point defeat to Ulm in continental action and being humiliated in Ashdod.
Jerusalem hit just 14-of-39 (36%) shots from two-point range and 5-of-22 (23%) attempts from three, and was punished by two of its former players.
Adam Ariel, who is on loan from Jerusalem for the season, finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for Ashdod, while Jake Cohen, who was a Jerusalem player last season but was loaned to Greek team Aris Thessaloniki, contributed 17 points and nine rebounds.
Young Israeli guard Yiftach Ziv added 15 points, six rebounds and five assists for Ashdod, which snapped a three-game losing streak to move to 3-3.
Curtis Jerrells scored 16 points for Jerusalem, which visits Maccabi Tel Aviv next week.
Jerusalem connected on just 28 percent of its field-goal attempts in the first half, but Ashdod couldn’t take full advantage, leading by eight points (28-20) before Jerusalem scored the final seven points of the first half.
The visitors had just 11 points in the third quarter, missing all five of their three-point shots, and Ashdod ended the period with an 11-2 run to open its biggest margin of the night until that stage.
Ariel and Ziv found their range, with two consecutive triples by the latter opening a double- digit cushion (48-38).
Callistus Eziukwu’s threepoint play took the gap to 15 points (53-38) at the start of the fourth quarter, with another basket by the center extending the margin to 20 points (60-40).
Jerusalem never came close to mounting a comeback and will try and end the downward spiral at Yad Eliyahu Arena.
On Monday, Hapoel Holon aims to continue its surprise start to the season when it hosts Maccabi Haifa. Holon improved to 4-1 with the win over Jerusalem and can move tied with Maccabi Tel Aviv at the summit with another victory.
Two 2-3 teams face off in Gan Ner when Hapoel Gilboa/Galil hosts Hapoel Eilat.
Also Monday, Maccabi Kiryat Gat, the only team in the league still stuck on a single win, welcomes Hapoel Tel Aviv (3-2).