Maccabi Tel Aviv’s American center Alex Tyus (9) dunks during Friday’s BSL All-Star game, in which the league’s foreigners defeated the Israelis 137-122 at Yad Eliyahu Arena.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
After the foreigners defeated the Israelis in Friday’s festive All- Star game at Yad Eliyahu Arena, the BSL returns to serious action with four games on Sunday night, including Oded Katash’s debut as the head coach of Hapoel Jerusalem.
After suffering five defeats in the first six All-Star games, the BSL’s foreigners claimed a second straight win on Friday afternoon, beating the Israeli roster 137-122.
Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Pierre Jackson, who scored 18 points, was named as the game’s MVP. Elishay Kadir led the Israelis with 26 points.
Both rosters included at least one player from each team in the league. The foreigners were coached by Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Neven Spahija and Maccabi Ashdod’s Brad Greenberg. The Israelis were guided by Hapoel Holon’s Dan Shamir and Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil’s Ariel Beit-Halachmi.
The afternoon also featured slam dunk and three-point competitions, won by Ironi Ness Ziona’s Jaron Johnson and Ironi Nahariya’s Corey Webster, respectively.
On Sunday, Jerusalem (11-6) hosts Bnei Herzliya (5-12) as Katash looks to get off on the right foot. Katash said he believes the team can still defend its BSL title when he was introduced as Hapoel’s new head coach last week, replacing Mody Maor. Katash only officially joined the team last Tuesday due to his role as the head coach of the Israel national team. He will remain in charge of the blue-and-white, which won’t be in action again in 2019 FIBA World Cup qualification until June 29, two weeks after the BSL final.
Katash is Jerusalem’s third coach this season, replacing Maor, who was promoted from the assistant coach’s position following the firing of Fotis Katsikaris last November.
Katash also guided the team in the 2010/11 campaign before resigning early in the subsequent season due to a poor run of results. The battle for first place and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs continues on Sunday, with Maccabi Tel Aviv (14-3) hosting Ironi Ness Ziona (6-11), while Hapoel Holon (13-4), which is one game back of the yellowand- blue, welcomes Maccabi Ashdod (9-8).
Holon and Ashdod have the best records in the league since the start of 2018, winning six of seven games.
Also Sunday, Maccabi Haifa hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv. On Monday, Eilat welcomes Gilboa, with Maccabi Rishon Lezion visiting Ironi Nahariya on Tuesday.