Yellow-and-blue still alive in battle for No. 1 seed

On Monday, Hapoel Tel Aviv (11-15) goes to Hapoel Eilat (13-13).

April 10, 2016 04:06
1 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Taylor Rochestie scored a game-high 24 points in last night’s 90-80 win at Bn

Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Taylor Rochestie scored a game-high 24 points in last night’s 90-80 win at Bnei Herzliya.. (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)

 Maccabi Tel Aviv remained within striking distance of Hapoel Jerusalem and the summit of the BSL standings on Saturday night, claiming a 90-80 win at Bnei Herzliya to improve to 19-8.

After three tight quarters, a 14-1 run in the fourth frame gave Maccabi its third straight win. Hapoel Jerusalem (20-6) can reestablish a two-game lead with six regular season games to play when it visits Maccabi Rishon Lezion (13-13) on Sunday.

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Taylor Rochestie led five Maccabi players in double figures with 24 points, including eight in the crucial surge. Hamady N’Diaye had 20 points for Herzliya (14-13).

While there are still two more months of games to play before the BSL title will be decided, Maccabi is already close to completing its roster for next season. American forward Quincy Miller and German center Maik Zirbes, who are playing for Red Star Belgrade this season, as well as Sonny Weems, who was released by the Philadelphia 76ers last month, have all reached agreements with Maccabi, with official announcements set to be made at the end of the season.

The 23-year-old Miller is averaging 14.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in the Euroleague, while Zirbes, 26, is logging 13.1 points and 6.5 boards. Miller was originally drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2012, staying with the team for two seasons (2012-2014) before joining the Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons in 2014/15.

After being cut by the Brooklyn Nets this preseason, Miller signed with Belgrade.

Weems also began his NBA career with the Nuggets, in the 2008/9 season, playing for the Toronto Raptors (2009-2011) before leaving for Europe. He experienced one successful season with Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania and then spent three year as a key player at CSKA Moscow, proving himself as one of the top American players on the continent.

The 29-year-old returned to the NBA this season with the Phoenix Suns, but was released in early March and played just seven games for Philadelphia before being cut.

Assuming the deals go ahead as expected, Maccabi already has 10 players on its roster for next season, with Gal Mekel, Yogev Ohayon, Sylven Landesberg, Devin Smith, Guy Pnini, Richard Hendrix and Itay Segev all set to remain with the yellow-and-blue.

On Monday, Hapoel Tel Aviv (11-15) goes to Hapoel Eilat (13-13).

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