Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Gal Mekel.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv gained a small measure of revenge against Maccabi Haifa on Sunday night, claiming a 67-59 win in BSL action at Yad Eliyahu Arena, less than two months after being handed its heaviest local defeat in club history by the Greens.
Tel Aviv and Haifa are the league’s two best defensive teams, but their offensive deficiencies had just as much to do with Sunday’s low-scoring affair. The yellow-and-blue led 27-21 at the break and remained in control until the final buzzer, moving back within two games of Hapoel Jerusalem and first place and three games ahead of Haifa in third.
Sylven Landesberg was Maccabi’s top scorer with just 11 points, with Reginald Buckner netting 13 points for Haifa.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Eilat made it four wins from its past five games, improving to 13-13 with a 90-72 win at Maccabi Ashdod. After suffering a heartbreaking loss against Maccabi Kiryat Gat last week, Eilat was desperate to get back on track on Sunday and it did so with ease against a struggling Ashdod.
Eilat was ahead by just three points at the break (40-37), but would cruise in the final 10 minutes after outscoring the hosts 30-16 in the third period to establish a 17-point cushion (70-53).
Alade Aminu led Eilat with 18 points and eight rebounds, with Elishay Kadir contributing 17 points and 10 boards.
“We had a tough loss last week,” said Aminu. “We were expecting to make it four straight wins against Kiryat Gat but we lost and needed to bounce back tonight. That loss made us stronger as a unit.”
Eilat coach Oded Katash was relieved after the win.
“We still have a long way to go but this is an important win for us,” said Katash. “Everything can change from week to week and we need to build on this victory.”
Charles Thomas carried Ashdod (11-15) with 36 points.
On Monday, Ironi Ness Ziona (7-18) hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion (13-12) and Hapoel Tel Aviv (10-15) welcomes Maccabi Kiryat Gat (9-16). Ness Ziona has lost six straight games since beating Rishon Lezion at the start of February. After Nate Robinson’s thrilling debut, Hapoel Tel Aviv was brought back down to earth with a painful overtime loss at Ironi Nahariya last week. Hapoel will hold a special ceremony before the game to mark a year since the tragic passing of team manager Uri Shelef at the age of 43 from a cardiac arrest.