Hapoel Holon forward Joe Alexander had 22 points and seven rebounds in last night’s 90-85 victory at Bnei Herzliya, Holon’s first victory over all competitions this season..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Hapoel Holon finally registered its first win of 2017/18 on Sunday, beating Bnei Herzliya 90-85 in the BSL after opening both its local league and European campaigns with two straight losses.
The surprise defeat to Hapoel Gilboa/Galil in the quarterfinals of the preseason Winner Cup, which was held at its home arena at the start of the month, had raised some concerns, but Holon was never expecting that it would take almost a month to get off the mark.
Holon suffered tight defeats to Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Eilat in the BSL, while being edged by Murcia in Spain in its FIBA Champions League opener before being crushed by 29 points by AS Monaco last week.
A close first half in Herzliya ended in a two-point lead (46- 44) for the hosts, but a 16-2 run in the third quarter would blow the game open and give the visitors a lead (64-50) they wouldn’t relinquish.
Seven of Shlomi Harush’s 10 points in the game came during that run, with Joe Alexander leading the winners with 22 points and seven rebounds.
Jeff Adrien had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Herzliya, which fell to 1-2.
Holon will now be looking to kick-start its Champions League campaign when it visits Juventus Utena in Lithuania on Wednesday. Holon still has plenty of time to make amends, with the regular season consisting of 14 games and four of the eight teams in the group to advance to the round of 16.
BSL action continues on Monday with three games.
After returning from its NBA tour and losing by 29 points to Maccabi Ashdod in its first BSL game last week, last season’s runner-up, Maccabi Haifa, goes in search of its first win when it hosts Ironi Ness Ziona.
Haifa’s players were still dealing with jet lag when they faced Ashdod last week, and Ofer Rahimi’s roster will be hoping to give a better account against Ness Ziona, which registered its first win since returning to the top flight by beating Hapoel Gilboa/Galil last week to move to 1-1.
Apart from Haifa, Maccabi Rishon Lezion is the only team yet to have picked up a win, losing its only game to date at Hapoel Jerusalem.
Rishon hosts Ashdod (1-1) on Monday.
Hapoel Eilat and Ironi Nahariya have also split their first two games, with the former’s defeat coming against Maccabi Tel Aviv and the latter losing to Hapoel Jerusalem in the first week of the season.
Both bounced back with victories and aim to move over .500 for the first time when they clash in Israel’s southernmost city on Monday.