Maccabi Tel Aviv swingman Sylven Landesberg (left) was one of six yellow-and-blue players in double figures last night, scoring 10 points in the 100-74 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv and Mark Lyons in BSL action at Yad Eliyahu Arena..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Hapoel Jerusalem warmed up for its Eurocup semifinals decider in Valencia by returning to winning ways in BSL action on Sunday, while Maccabi Tel Aviv remained in first place thanks to a resounding victory in the derby.
Jerusalem faces one of its most important games of recent years when it visits Valencia on Wednesday, targeting a place in a European final for the first time since winning the ULEB Cup in 2004.
Hapoel had lost four of its previous five BSL games, but will enter Wednesday’s crucial continental contest on the back of another win, taking a 19-point gap (48-29) into the break on Sunday and remaining in control until the final buzzer, claiming a 91-80 victory.
Jerusalem remains four games back of Maccabi Tel Aviv, which improved to 17-6 after steamrolling Hapoel Tel Aviv 100-74.
With its Euroleague hopes officially ending with Thursday’s loss at Efes Istanbul, all that is left for Maccabi this season in the BSL.
Winning the local championship is far from the given it used to be, with the yellowand- blue going two consecutive years without a league title for the first time in 50 years, even failing to make the final in either of the past two seasons.
While the championship won’t be decided until the Final Four tournament in June, Maccabi is aiming to enter the post-season in the best position possible. The yellow-andblue reestablished a one-game lead over second-place Hapoel Holon on Sunday, leading by 19 points (54-35) at the interval and piling the misery on its arch-rival in the second half.
Joe Alexander and Guy Pnini led six Maccabi players in double figures with 14 points each.
Maccabi, which completed a regular season sweep of Hapoel, will already be back in Euroleague action on Tuesday when it visits Fenerbahce in Istanbul before hosting Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday.
Also Sunday, Bnei Herzliya maintained its hold on third place, improving to 15-9 with a 76-66 win over Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil. Karam Mashour registered another impressive double-double, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Murphy Holloway scored 27 points for Gilboa, which fell to 10-14.
On Monday, Hapoel Eilat (12- 10) faces Maccabi Rishon Lezion (10-12) and Maccabi Kiryat Gat (4-18) goes to Maccabi Haifa (11-11).