Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Yogev Ohayon .
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv joined Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Rishon Lezion as the only teams to begin the BSL season at 2-0 after beating Hapoel Holon 89-73 at Nokia Arena on Saturday night.
Fresh off its 92-76 win over Limoges of France in its Euroleague opener on Thursday, Maccabi came out all guns blazing, outscoring Holon 32-11 in the first quarter and never looking back.
Sylven Landesberg led Maccabi with 20 points, with Jake Cohen adding 13 points and Devin Smith and Yogev Ohayon scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively. Jordan Taylor had 22 points for Holon, which is now 0-52 against Maccabi on the road.
Maccabi will play its third game in five days on Monday when it visits Hapoel Eilat in BSL action before leaving for Russia ahead of Thursday’s Euroleague clash with CSKA Moscow.
Rishon Lezion improved to 2-0 on Friday with a tight 75-73 win over Maccabi Ashdod. Despite losing Israeli star Shawn Dowson to injury in the first quarter, Rishon took a 43-30 lead into the break. The visitors were still ahead by double-digits (67-57) with six minutes to play, but Ashdod stormed back to take a twopoint advantage (73-71) with one minute remaining. Nevertheless, four straight points by Larry O’Bannon ensured Rishon continued its winning start to the campaign.
Jeremy Smith had 24 points for Rishon, with Tony Younger and O’Bannon adding 15 points each. Yehu Orland scored 14 points for Ashdod, which fell to 0-2.
Ironi Ness Ziona claimed its first win of the season on Friday, leading throughout the second half on the way to a 91-87 victory at Bnei Herzliya.
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Craig Smith led Ness Ziona with 17 points and 10 rebounds, with Tal Dan adding 17 points and nine boards and Lamayn Wilson contributing 17 points and eight rebounds. Yuval Naimi netted 25 points for Herzliya, which closed to within three points (81-78) in the fourth quarter but could come no closer.
Jerusalem can become the first team to move to 3-0 when it hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv on Sunday.
Jerusalem won its first two BSL games by an average 19.5 points per contest, but is coming off a disappointing defeat at Banvit Bandirma of Turkey in its Eurocup opener.
Hapoel Tel Aviv claimed its first win of the season on Thursday by defeating Ironi Nahariya.
Meanwhile, after losing by just six points to the Washington Wizards last week to start its NBA tour, Maccabi Haifa was humbled on Friday night, dropping to a 121-74 defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Brody Angley had 18 points for Haifa, which trailed by just eight points (27-19) at the end of the first quarter, but found itself down by 19 points (54-35) at the break and by 40 points (95-55) in the fourth frame.
Haifa continued its fourth NBA tour in five years when it faced the Sacramento Kings and Omri Casspi on Saturday before playing the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.
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