Maccabi Tel Aviv Guard Norris Cole.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem will enter their first showdown of the season in the first two places in the BSL standings and with just one loss between them after triumphing once more on Sunday night.
Jerusalem hosts Maccabi on Sunday, December 3 when league action resumes following the international break.
Tel Aviv will be coming to Jerusalem with a perfect 7-0 record after cruising to a 98-68 victory at Ironi Ness Ziona. Hapoel is one game back at 6-1 after outscoring Bnei Herzliya 21-7 in the final quarter to register a 90-78 win earlier Sunday.
Maccabi led by seven points (20-13) after 10 minutes, but effectively decided the contest by the break, winning the second period 29-13 to open a 23-point gap (49-26) it never came close to relinquishing.
John DiBartolomeo had 20 points for Maccabi, which visits Barcelona in Euroleague action on Thursday. Jaron Johnson scored 21 points for Ness Ziona, which fell to 2-5.
Jerusalem got off to a fast start in Herzliya, scoring 10 of the first 12 points. The remainder of the first period would belong to the hosts though, with Herzliya holding Hapoel to three points in the final five minutes of the frame to open a 19-16 advantage after 10 minutes.
A tight second period would end with Jerusalem owning a five-point margin (46-41) and there was still little to separate the teams throughout the third quarter, with Herzliya taking a two-point edge (71-69) into the final 10 minutes. The hosts would score just seven more points until the final buzzer though, with Jerusalem tightening its defense to register what was ultimately a comfortable victory.
Jerome Dyson led five Jerusalem players in double figures with 24 points. Lior Eliyahu netted a season-high 14. Jeff Adrien had 22 points for Herzliya, which fell to 2-5.
“I’m not pleased at all,” said Jerusalem coach Mody Maor.
“We are only at the start of the process. I am pleased with the intensity we showed in the fourth quarter, but we want to play defense like that for 40 minutes and we need to have a better flow on offense.”
Five days after parting with coach Meir Tapiro, Hapoel Eilat snapped a four-game losing streak with an 88-82 triumph at Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.
Eilat signed Sharon Drucker as its new head coach on Saturday.
Drucker won’t take charge of the team until Tuesday, with assistant coach Eran Itzhak at the helm for Sunday’s game. Eilat, which improved to 2-5, was led by 36-year-old guard Afik Nissim, who set a new career-high with 32 points.
Jordan Lyod had 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Demetrius Treadwell contributed 19 points and 13 boards for Eilat, which only used seven players in the game. J’Covan Brown had 19 points for Gilboa, which dropped to 3-4.
Also Sunday, Maccabi Haifa ensured all the road teams triumphed when it finally picked up its second win of the season, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 95-74 in a game held in Gan Ner due to a punishment handed to the latter for the unruly behavior of its fans.
Oz Blayzer was sensational for the Greens with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Jerel McNeal netted 21 points for Hapoel, which fell to 3-4.