Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Deshaun Thomas (right).
(photo credit: LIRON MOLDOVAN /BSL)
Maccabi Tel Aviv is still perfect in the BSL after improving to 5-0 with a 90-86 victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion on Sunday, while Hapoel Jerusalem returned to winning ways with an 82-67 triumph at Hapoel Eilat.
Tel Aviv rested Artsiom Parakhouski and Pierre Jackson ahead of Thursday’s Euroleague showdown with Real Madrid at Yad Eliyahu Arena, but scored 21 of the final 29 points of the first half to open a 17-point gap at the break (49-32).
The yellow-and-blue seemed to be cruising when it took a 15-point (66-51) margin into the final 10 minutes. But Rishon opened the fourth quarter with a 14-2 run and was within just three points (68-65) following Nitzan Hanochi’s three-pointer. Deshaun Thomas ensured the hosts came no closer though, scoring 12 consecutive points for his team.
Thomas finished with 18 points in 20 minutes, with Michael Roll scoring 17 and Norris Cole adding 16. Oded Brandwein had 16 points for Rishon, which fell to 3-2.
After being handed its first defeat of the BSL campaign by Maccabi Ashdod last week, Jerusalem outscored Eilat 19-8 in the first 10 minutes and never lost control. The visitors led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter and Eilat’s comeback in the final frame brought it to within six points (67-61) but no closer.
Greek forward Stratos Perperoglou led five Jerusalem players in double figures with 15 points. Amit Simhon had 13 points for Eilat, which fell to 1-4.
Jerusalem, which moved to 4-1, will look to continue the momentum when it hosts Galatasaray in Eurocup action on Wednesday after finally getting off the mark in the competition with a road win at Reggio Emilia last week.
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Earlier Sunday, Jerusalem announced the signing of 28-year-old American guard Kalin Lucas, who will help fill the void left by the departure of Curtis Jerrells last month. Jerrells was surprisingly cut by the team after falling out with coach Fotis Katsikaris. Lucas averaged 18.1 points per game for Iowa Energy and Erie BayHawks in the NBA D-League last season.
Lucas played college ball at Michigan State where he was chosen as the Big Ten player of the year in 2009. He also has European experience, playing for Greek powerhouse Olympiacos as well as Turkish clubs Banvit and Ankara Kolejliler.
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