Rishon sends defending BSL champ to first defeat

Maccabi Rishon Lezion tied reigning champion Hapoel Jerusalem at 4-1 thanks to a dramatic double-overtime 89-83 victory.

November 8, 2015 03:52
2 minute read.
Maccabi Rishon Lezion

Maccabi Rishon Lezion guard Mark Lyons had 19 points and seven assists in last night’s 89-83 double-overtime win over Hapoel Jerusalem.. (photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)


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Maccabi Rishon Lezion handed Hapoel Jerusalem its first defeat of the BSL season and moved tied with the reigning champion at 4-1 thanks to a dramatic double-overtime 89-83 victory on Saturday night.

Jerusalem opened the season with four straight wins and entered Saturday’s contest with 14 league victories in a row stretching back to last season, with its last defeat coming over six months ago.

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Hapoel led by nine points (39- 30) at the interval, but Rishon opened the second half with a 16-0 run and a tight encounter would ensue.

Donta Smith’s basket gave Jerusalem a 72-71 lead with 22.1 seconds to play before Darryl Monroe hit one of two free throws with 6.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

Smith missed two shots from the line which could have decided the encounter with 33 seconds remaining in the first overtime and Monroe’s basket with 35 seconds to go in the second extra period opened a four-point advantage (87-83) from which there would be no way back for Jerusalem.

Monroe had 29 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and six steals for Rishon, with Mark Lyons adding 19 points and seven assists.

Smith led five Jerusalem players in double figures with 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

Guy Goodes could be coaching Maccabi Tel Aviv for the final time on Sunday when the yellow-and-blue hosts Maccabi Ashdod. Maccabi dropped to 1-3 in the Euroleague for the first time in 17 years on Thursday after losing 77-66 to Brose Baskets Bamberg in Germany.

Maccabi hosts Darussafaka Istanbul in a crucial continental contest on Thursday night by which time Goodes may no longer be at the helm, with the club’s ownership running out of patience with the team’s desperately disappointing displays.

Ashdod registered its first win of the season last week, defeating last season’s runner-up Hapoel Eilat after opening the campaign with three straight losses.

Ironi Nahariya will look to continue its impressive start to the season when it hosts Maccabi Kiryat Gat on Sunday.

Nahariya has amassed a 3-1 record, winning its last three games, all by five points or less.

Maccabi Haifa is also at 3-1 thanks to its excellent defensive play.

Haifa, which visits Bnei Herzliya, has held its opponents to a league best 70.0 points per game so far this season.

Also Sunday, Ironi Ness Ziona hosts Hapoel Holon.

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