Maccabi Tel Aviv tops Jerusalem to take 1st place, Eilat wins 7th straight

Dibartolomeo was asked if the victory was proof that Maccabi is the best team in Israel.

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December 19, 2018 00:27
2 minute read.
Basketball

Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Scottie Wilbekin shoots over the Hapoel Jerusalem defense for two of his 20 points in Maccabi’s 91-78 home victory over Hapoel in Basketball Super League action this week. (photo credit: ERAN LUF)

 
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Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Jerusalem 91-78 at Yad Eliyahu to take the Israeli clascico as the yellow-and-blue led wire-to-wire in Basketball Super League action.

Coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad shot an incredible 82% from two and dominated the battle of the bigs as Maccabi’s forwards outscored Hapoel’s 22-0 in the first half while DeAndre Kane neutralized Jerusalem’s James Feldeine holding the guard to only 10 points.

John Dibartolomeo scored 22 points to go with seven rebounds to spearhead the Maccabi attack, Scottie Wilbekin dropped 20 points, while Tarik Black added 13 points in the win. Tamir Blatt was the high scorer for Jerusalem with 15 points as J’Covan Brown added 12 points in the loss.

Dibartolomeo was asked if the victory was proof that Maccabi is the best team in Israel.

“We have a lot to prove. We are 10 games into the Israeli league and there’s a long way to go. We need to continue to get better and our best basketball will be played as the season goes on,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ness Ziona won its second league game in a row since the international break, downing Hapoel Holon 88-78 thanks to Tal Dunne’s 20 points, eight boards and six assists to go along with Gary Browne’s 19 points, seven rebounds and seven helpers as each flirted with a triple-double.

Darion Atkins was the lone bright spot for Holon, clocking in with a 25 point and 10 rebound double-double performance.


Nahariya dominated Hapoel Tel Aviv 90-76 as Arik Alfasi made his return behind the Nahariya bench replacing Micky Gorka and picked up the road win. Nahariya led throughout the contest and quelled every threat by Danny Franco’s Tel Aviv squad to mount a comeback.

Myke Henry and Terry Allen each dropped 22 points while point guard Yiftach Ziv played the perfect floor general and added 15 points.

Hapoel’s starters tried their best to stay competitive but without Richard Howell who was nursing a minor knee issue, the Reds had trouble keeping pace. Jamal Shuler scored 17 points as Tomer Ginat and Jerel McNeal each chipped in with 16 points for Hapoel in the loss.

Hapoel Eilat won its seventh game in a row, downing Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 88-70 on the road at Gan Ner. The Red Sea squad topped almost every statistical category as Elijah Bryant’s 28 points and nine rebounds led the way for the visitors in the one-sided affair.

Hapoel Beersheba defeated Maccabi Ashdod 87-70, winning for the first time in four games at home. The southern side came into the contest without two of it starters in Semaj Christon and Travis Warech, but that didn’t bother Rami Hadar’s squad as Jordan Swing went 6-of-8 from three-point range in a 22-point night.

Also, Bnei Herzliya dropped Maccabi Rishon Lezion 74-67 at home in a tight game that saw Gabe Levin score nine points in the fourth quarter to help the hosts seal the victory. Michael Dixon scored 17 points, Levin added 15 points and Jeff Adrien recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Herzliya.

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