Hapoel Jerusalem tops Ashdod heading into Champions League quarters

Jerusalem coach Oded Katash knows full well that his squad needs to be clicking on all cylinders and he’s aware that the level of competition will be much higher.

By JOSHUA HALICKMAN
March 26, 2019 21:10
2 minute read.
ALEX TYUS led Maccabi Tel Aviv with 21 points in the yellow-and-blue’s 86-74 home victory

ALEX TYUS led Maccabi Tel Aviv with 21 points in the yellow-and-blue’s 86-74 home victory over Ness Ziona in BSL action on Monday night. (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)

 
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On Wednesday night, Hapoel Jerusalem will play the first of two games against Tenerife from Spain in the Basketball Champions League quarterfinals at home. The series will be determined on accumulated total points just like the round-of-16, which saw the Reds dispose of Neptunas.

Jerusalem coach Oded Katash knows full well that his squad needs to be clicking on all cylinders and he’s aware that the level of competition will be much higher.

“We are playing one of the best teams, certainly the favorite in this duel” said Katash. “We will need to come with energy and focus in order to get by Tenerife.”

Meanwhile, in local Basketball Super League action, Jerusalem defeated Maccabi Ashdod 92-82 at the Pais Arena over the weekend thanks to a stellar effort by up-and-coming point guard Tamir Blatt. The son of former Maccabi Tel Aviv, Cleveland Cavaliers and current Olympiacos coach David Blatt was a dominant force throughout the 40 minutes, with 16 points and eight assists for an efficiency rating of 23.

In addition to Blatt, Bar Timor clocked in 14 points, TaShawn Thomas recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Josh Owens scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards.

Also, league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv took out Ironi Ness Ziona 86-74 at Yad Eliyahu on Monday night after holding the visitors to just 26 second-half points.

Alex Tyus scored eight of his 21 points in the final frame as the yellow-and-blue pulled away in the fourth quarter to take the win.

The first half saw coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s Maccabi squad hit 10 triples to take a 48-46 lead after 20 minutes. Daequan Cook (17 points) and Talib Zanna (15 points) tried to keep the game close for Ness Ziona, but the hosts’ depth was simply too much for Nadav Zilberstein’s team.

Elsewhere, Ironi Nahariya shocked Holon 88-77 on the road to pick up a huge win in its battle against relegation.


Arik Alfasi’s northern squad took a one-point lead (34-33) into halftime and outplayed the hosts over the last 20 minutes to record the victory.

Terry Allen scored 20 points and Myke Henry added 18 points in the win while Amit Simhon and Corey Walden each dropped 19 points in the defeat for Holon, which fell a point behind Maccabi Tel Aviv atop the BSL standings.

Hapoel Beersheba dismantled struggling Maccabi Rishon Lezion 77-53 in the southern capital. Rami Hadar’s tight defense gave up only 20 points to Rishon in the entire opening half as the hosts grabbed an 18-point advantage at the break to cruise to the victory.

Veteran guard Chanan Colman led the way with 19 points and Jakim Donaldson recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Bnei Herzliya recorded its first win since December when it defeated Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 95-81 in the Galilee.

The hosts held a 47-44 lead at halftime and it looked like Herzliya was headed for its 13th loss in a row. But Jerome Dyson (25 points) and James Robinson (23 points) began scoring at will to grab the much-needed victory for Arik Shivek’s squad.

Hapoel Eilat dropped Hapoel Tel Aviv 85-76 in the Red Sea city as Elijah Bryant (17 points) and Suleiman Braimoh (16 points) led the way for the victory over the Reds.

Tomer Ginat was the high scorer for Tel Aviv, with the Israeli international scoring 19 points in a losing cause.

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