Jerusalem makes it four straight wins to start

Four days after falling to 0-2 in the Eurocup, Jerusalem made light work of Gilboa ahead of Wednesday’s crucial continental contest against Partizan Belgrade.

October 26, 2014 23:46
2 minute read.
 Hapoel Jerusalem’s forward Donte Smith

Hapoel Jerusalem’s forward Donte Smith. (photo credit: ODED KARNI/BSL)


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Hapoel Jerusalem extended its perfect start to the BSL season on Sunday night, improving to 4-0 for the first time in 10 years with a resounding 89-56 victory at Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.

Four days after falling to 0-2 in the Eurocup, Jerusalem made light work of Gilboa ahead of Wednesday’s crucial continental contest against Partizan Belgrade.

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Danny Franco’s men effectively clinched the win by the halftime break, building a 25-point gap (47-22) over the first two quarters.

Gilboa remained in touch for five minutes before Jerusalem ended the first period with a 12-0 run to open a 23-10 lead.

The visitors never looked back, with a Bar Timor basket taking the margin passed 20 points for the first time (38-17) and the entire second half being no more than garbage time.

Lior Eliyahu led Jerusalem with 18 points and five rebounds, with Joseph Jones finishing with 12 points.

Franco was happy with the blowout as it allowed him to use the second half as a training session.

“We barely have time to practice so I use these games to try out new plays,” he explained.

“We made the game easy and played with joy and that is the most important thing.”

Jeremiah Wilson was Gilboa’s top scorer with nine points, with the hosts hitting just 24.6 percent (17-of-69) of their shots.

Jerusalem, whose best ever start to a BSL campaign was 7-0 in the 1998/99 season, will look to equal its 5-0 start from 2004/05 when it hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv next Sunday.

Maccabi will be confident of also entering the showdown at 4-0, with the yellow-and-blue hosting Ironi Nahariya on Monday.

Also Monday, Bnei Herzliya welcomes Hapoel Eilat and Ironi Ness Ziona visits Maccabi Rishon Lezion.

After almost two weeks of playing exhibition games against NBA teams, Maccabi Haifa made a triumphant return to the BSL on Sunday, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 82-58.

Haifa began the night with a 10-0 run and never lost the lead, taking a nine-point gap (34-25) into the interval and cruising in the second half.

Demontez Stitt led Haifa with 19 points and seven assists, hitting all five of his three-point attempts. Ike Ofoegbu added 15 points, with Jeff Allen contributing 12 points and 14 rebounds against his former team. Yancy Gates had 17 points for Tel Aviv.

Also Sunday, Hapoel Holon improved to 3-1, defeating Maccabi Ashdod 89-79. Holon dominated Ashdod from the start, opening the game with an 11-0 surge. The hosts took a 15-point cushion (32-17) into the second quarter and were never going to be caught after leading 58-37 at halftime.

Tony Crocker had 18 points for Holon, with Curtis Kelly scoring 21 points for Ashdod, which dropped to 0-4.

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