New Hapoel Tel Aviv guard Nate Robinson is set to make his debut for the team in tonight’s BSL contest against Maccabi Rishon Lezion..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Despite only training twice with the team since arriving in Israel on Thursday night, three-time NBA dunk champion Nate Robinson is set to make his debut for Hapoel Tel Aviv on Sunday when it hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion at the Drive-In Arena.
The 31-year-old guard, who hasn’t played since being waived by the New Orleans Pelicans last October, was persuaded to come to Israel by former University of Washington teammate Tre Simmons, who signed with Hapoel last November. Robinson is set to earn in the region of $50,000-60,000 for the final two months of the regular season.
“Tre told me that our fans are fun crazy and that’s part of my game so we are going to get along well,” said Robinson.
“I’ll bring energy to the team and hopefully I can give the team that extra push.”
Hapoel sits just two games above last place in the BSL standings, which will lead to relegation to the National League at the end of the season, after falling to a 9-14 record with a 101-80 loss to Bnei Herzliya last Saturday.
However, Tel Aviv is also only two games back of eighth place, which will lead to a berth to the playoffs, with 10 games still remaining in the regular season.
On Saturday, Maccabi Haifa claimed another win thanks to its excellent defense, beating Ironi Ness Ziona 73-63 on the road.
Will Graves had 16 points for Haifa, which held Ness Ziona to just 27 points in the second half and improved to 15-9, strengthening its hold on third place. Sundiata Gaines scored 16 points for Ness Ziona, which fell to 7-17 with its fifth straight loss.
Hapoel Holon took another step towards maintaining its BSL status on Saturday, registering its fourth win in five games by beating Bnei Herzliya 83-76. Holon improved to 9-15 behind 23 points and nine rebounds from Isaac Rosefelt, with Shlomi Harush adding 21 points and Will Clyburn contributing 20 points and 11 boards.
James Singleton finished with 20 points for Herzliya (13-11), which led by one point (71-70) entering the final three minutes.
On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem aims to complete a regular-season sweep of Maccabi Tel Aviv, while Hapoel Eilat hosts Ironi Nahariya and Maccabi Kiryat Gat goes to Maccabi Ashdod.