Hapoel Tel Aviv guard Talor Battle had 21 points in last night’s 84-61 win at Hapoel Eilat..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Sharon Avrahami’s reign at Hapoel Tel Aviv got off to a dream start on Monday night.
After replacing Oded Katash last week following the team’s three consecutive defeats, Hapoel thrashed Hapoel Eilat 84-61 on the road, dominating from start to finish.
Avrahami coached Hapoel in the lower divisions between 2009 and 2011 and was brought in as an assistant by the management at the start of this season. This is his first chance in the top flight and he will be keen to make the most of it, especially at the club with which he has been connected for much of his coaching career.
Both teams showed why they began the season with a 1-3 record at the start of Monday’s showdown, with the score tied at 3-3 after four minutes.
Tel Aviv was the first team to get its act together and would go on what would ultimately prove to be a game-winning run.
The visitors scored the final seven points of the first quarter to open a 19-10 lead and then netted the first five points of the second frame to open a double-digit cushion. The gap continued to mushroom, reaching 20 points (37-17) with just under four minutes left in the half.
Eilat never came close to mounting a comeback, capitulating without a fight.
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Chris Evans had 24 points and eight rebounds for Hapoel, with Talor Battle adding 21 points and eight assists.
Robert Rothbart contributed 15 points and 13 rebounds for Hapoel, which improved to 2-3.
“We started the game in the same way we did last week and I told the guys at halftime that we can’t lose the lead the way we did last week,” said Rothbart. “Well done to the new coach and the players and I hope that this is the start of a new path for Hapoel Tel Aviv.”
Khalif Wyatt had 13 points for Eilat.
Eilat also got last season off to a disappointing start, going 1-5.
That ultimately resulted in the sacking of coach Dan Shamir, with his replacement Arik Shivek leading the side to the BSL final.
Shivek is now the one under pressure to help Eilat rebound from yet another poor beginning to a BSL campaign.
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