Hapoel Holon guard Tu Holloway scored a team-high 28 points in an 86-81 overtime win over Maccabi Tel Aviv in BSL action..
(photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
Hapoel Holon took a significant step towards securing the No. 1 seed in the BSL playoffs on Saturday, defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv 86-81 in overtime to move one game clear at the top of the BSL standings.
Holon improved to a 16-4 record with its seventh straight league victory, defeating Maccabi for the third time this season.
Tu Holloway scored 28 points for Holon, with Glen Rice Jr. adding 23 points and 14 rebounds. Norris Cole had 23 points for Tel Aviv, which fell to 15-5 and dropped to another dejecting loss after falling to Khimki Moscow in a crucial Euroleague encounter at Yad Eliyahu on Thursday.
Thanks to Saturday’s win, Holon has secured the head-to-head tiebreaker regardless of the outcome of their third regular season showdown.
After Tel Aviv won its first eight BSL games of the season, Holon handed it a first defeat at Yad Eliyahu back in December, winning 93-89. The teams also met in the State Cup final at Yad Eliyahu last month, with Holon winning 86-84 thanks to a spectacular basket by Rice with 1.6 seconds to play. Maccabi once more failed to stop Rice on Saturday, although it was Holloway who caused most of the damage and kept the hosts in the game after Tel Aviv moved ahead by outscoring Holon 27-17 in the third quarter.
“We really wanted this win against such a big team,” said Holloway. “We knew it would be tough but we were focused and got the job done.”
Maccabi continues its hectic week when it visits reigning Euroleague champion Fenerbahce in Istanbul on Tuesday before hosting Panathinaikos in its final home game on Thursday. The yellow-and-blue will end the regular season with two away games at Baskonia Vitoria and Valencia.
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Maccabi dropped to ninth place in the Euroleague standings after falling to 13-13 with the loss to Khimki and with Baskonia Vitoria triumphing.
Elsewhere Saturday, Maccabi Ashdod beat Hapoel Tel Aviv 76-69. Sek Henry had 29 points for Ashdod, which improved to 11-9. Hapoel fell to 10-10.
BSL action continues on Sunday with one game, with Hapoel Jerusalem (11-8) hosting Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (9-10).
Jerusalem is still searching for its first win under new coach Oded Katash, suffering its second straight loss since his hiring at Maccabi Tel Aviv last week.
Jerusalem lost for the sixth time in its past seven games over all competitions, squandering a 12-point fourth quarter lead to drop to a 77-74 defeat.
Hapoel also lost guard Yogev Ohayon for the rest of the season after he suffered an injury to his right wrist during the encounter against his former team at Yad Eliyahu.
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